• Effect of Mass Supplementation with Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food during an anticipated nutritional emergency

      Grellety, E; Shepherd, S; Roederer, T; Manzo, M L; Doyon, S; Ategbo, E-A; Grais, RF; Epicentre, Paris, France. Emmanuel.GRELLETY@epicentre.msf.org (2012-09-12)
      Previous studies have shown the benefits of ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) distribution in reducing the incidence and prevalence of severe acute malnutrition.
    • A large-scale distribution of milk-based fortified spreads: evidence for a new approach in regions with high burden of acute malnutrition

      Defourny, I; Minetti, A; Harczi, G; Doyon, S; Shepherd, S; Tectonidis, M; Bradol, J H; Golden, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France; University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2009-05-06)
      BACKGROUND: There are 146 million underweight children in the developing world, which contribute to up to half of the world's child deaths. In high burden regions for malnutrition, the treatment of individual children is limited by available resources. Here, we evaluate a large-scale distribution of a nutritional supplement on the prevention of wasting. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A new ready-to-use food (RUF) was developed as a diet supplement for children under three. The intervention consisted of six monthly distributions of RUF during the 2007 hunger gap in a district of Maradi region, Niger, for approximately 60,000 children (length: 60-85 cm). At each distribution, all children over 65 cm had their Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) recorded. Admission trends for severe wasting (WFH<70% NCHS) in Maradi, 2002-2005 show an increase every year during the hunger gap. In contrast, in 2007, throughout the period of the distribution, the incidence of severe acute malnutrition (MUAC<110 mm) remained at extremely low levels. Comparison of year-over-year admissions to the therapeutic feeding program shows that the 2007 blanket distribution had essentially the same flattening effect on the seasonal rise in admissions as the 2006 individualized treatment of almost 60,000 children moderately wasted. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the potential for distribution of fortified spreads to reduce the incidence of severe wasting in large population of children 6-36 months of age. Although further information is needed on the cost-effectiveness of such distributions, these results highlight the importance of re-evaluating current nutritional strategies and international recommendations for high burden areas of childhood malnutrition.
    • Malnutrition and mortality patterns among internally displaced and non-displaced population living in a camp, a village or a town in Eastern Chad

      Guerrier, G; Zounoun, M; Delarosa, O; Defourny, I; Lacharite, M; Brown, V; Pedalino, B; Epicentre, Paris, France; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Barcelona, Spain; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Paris, France (2009-11-26)
      BACKGROUND: Certain population groups have been rendered vulnerable in Chad because of displacement of more than 200,000 people over the last three years as a result of mass violence against civilians in the east of the country. The objective of the study was to assess mortality and nutritional patterns among displaced and non-displaced population living in camps, villages and a town in the Ouddaï and Salamat regions of Chad. METHODOLOGY: Between May and October 2007, two stage, 30-cluster household surveys were conducted among 43,900 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps in Ouaddai region (n = 898 households), among 19,400 non-displaced persons (NDPs) living in 42 villages in Ouaddai region (n = 900 households) and among 17,000 NDPs living in a small town in Salamat region (n = 901 households). Data collection included anthropometric measurements, measles vaccination rates and retrospective mortality. Crude mortality rate (CMR), mortality rate among children younger than 5 years (U5MR), causes of death and the prevalence of wasting (weight-for-height z score <-2) among children aged 6 to 59 months were the main outcome measures. CONCLUSIONS: The CMR among the 4902 IDPs in Gozbeida camps, 4477 NDPs living in a village and 4073 NDPs living in a town surveyed was 1.8 (95% CI, 1.2-2.8), 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2-0.4), 0.3 (95% CI, 0.2-0.5) per 10,000 per day, respectively. The U5MR in a camp (n = 904), a village (n = 956) and a town (n = 901) was 4.1 (95% CI, 2.1-7.7), 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.9) and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.4-1.4) per 10,000 per day, respectively. Diarrhoea was reported to be the main cause of death. Acute malnutrition rates (according to the WHO definition) among 904 IDP children, 956 NDPs children living in a village, 901 NDP children living in a town aged 6 to 59 months were 20.6% (95% CI, 17.9%-23.3%), 16.4% (95% CI, 14.0%-18.8%) and 10.1% (95% CI, 8.1%-12.2%) respectively. The study found a high mortality rate among IDPs and an elevated prevalence of wasting not only in IDP camps but also in villages located in the same region. The town-dweller population remains at risk of malnutrition. Appropriate contingency plans need to be made to ensure acceptable living standards for these populations.
    • Mid-Upper Arm Circumference based Nutrition Programming: evidence for a new approach in regions with high burden of Acute Malnutrition

      Goossens, S; Bekele, Y; Yun, O; Harczi, G; Ouannes, M; Shepherd, S; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. (2012-11-26)
      In therapeutic feeding programs (TFP), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) shows advantages over weight-for-height Z score (WHZ) and is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an independent criterion for screening children 6-59 months old. Here we report outcomes and treatment response from a TFP using MUAC ≤118 mm or oedema as sole admission criteria for severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
    • Mortality risk among children admitted in a large-scale nutritional program in Niger, 2006

      Lapidus, N; Minetti, A; Djibo, A; Guerin, P J; Hustache, S; Gaboulaud, V; Grais, RF; Epicentre, Paris, France; Ministry of Health, Niamey, Niger (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2009-01-29)
      BACKGROUND: In 2006, the Médecins sans Frontières nutritional program in the region of Maradi (Niger) included 68,001 children 6-59 months of age with either moderate or severe malnutrition, according to the NCHS reference (weight-for-height<80% of the NCHS median, and/or mid-upper arm circumference<110 mm for children taller than 65 cm and/or presence of bipedal edema). Our objective was to identify baseline risk factors for death among children diagnosed with severe malnutrition using the newly introduced WHO growth standards. As the release of WHO growth standards changed the definition of severe malnutrition, which now includes many children formerly identified as moderately malnourished with the NCHS reference, studying this new category of children is crucial. METHODOLOGY: Program monitoring data were collected from the medical records of all children admitted in the program. Data included age, sex, height, weight, MUAC, clinical signs on admission including edema, and type of discharge (recovery, death, and default/loss to follow up). Additional data included results of a malaria rapid diagnostic test due to Plasmodium falciparum (Paracheck) and whether the child was a resident of the region of Maradi or came from bordering Nigeria to seek treatment. Multivariate logistic regression was performed on a subset of 27,687 children meeting the new WHO growth standards criteria for severe malnutrition (weight-for-height<-3 Z score, mid-upper arm circumference<110 mm for children taller than 65 cm or presence of bipedal edema). We explored two different models: one with only basic anthropometric data and a second model that included perfunctory clinical signs. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the first model including only weight, height, sex and presence of edema, the risk factors retained were the weight/height(1.84) ratio (OR: 5,774; 95% CI: [2,284; 14,594]) and presence of edema (7.51 [5.12; 11.0]). A second model, taking into account supplementary data from perfunctory clinical examination, identified other risk factors for death: apathy (9.71 [6.92; 13.6]), pallor (2.25 [1.25; 4.05]), anorexia (1.89 [1.35; 2.66]), fever>38.5 degrees C (1.83 [1.25; 2.69]), and age below 1 year (1.42 [1.01; 1.99]). CONCLUSIONS: Although clinicians will continue to perform screening using clinical signs and anthropometry, these risk indicators may provide additional criteria for the assessment of absolute and relative risk of death. Better appraisal of the child's risk of death may help orientate the child towards either hospitalization or ambulatory care. As the transition from the NCHS growth reference to the WHO standards will increase the number of children classified as severely malnourished, further studies should explore means to identify children at highest risk of death within this group using simple and standardized indicators.
    • Observational bias during nutrition surveillance: results of a mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional data collection system in northern Nigeria

      Grellety, E; Luquero, F J; Mambula, C; Adamu, H H; Elder, G; Porten, K; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Public Library of Science, 2013-05-03)
      The Sahel is subject to seasonal hungry periods with increasing rates of malnutrition. In Northern Nigeria, there is no surveillance system and surveys are rare. The objectives were to analyse possible observational bias in a sentinel surveillance system using repeated mixed longitudinal/cross-sectional data and estimate the extent of seasonal variation.
    • Ready-to-use therapeutic food for Catch-up Growth in children after an episode of Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria: an open randomised controlled trial

      van der Kam, S; Swarthout, T; Niragira, O; Froud, A; Sompwe, E M; Mills, C; Roll, S; Tinnemann, P; Shanks, L; Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. saskia.vd.kam@amsterdam.msf.org (2012-04-25)
      Catch-up growth after an infection is essential for children to maintain good nutritional status. To prevent malnutrition, WHO recommends that children are given one additional healthy meal per day during the 2 weeks after onset of illness. We investigated to what extent ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) promotes catch-up growth in children after an acute, uncomplicated episode of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
    • Using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference to end treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition leads to higher weight gains in the most malnourished children

      Dale, N M; Myatt, M; Prudhon, C; Briend, A; Department of International Health, University of Tampere Medical School, Tampere, Finland ; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. (2013-02-13)
      The World Health Organization recommends discharging children admitted to nutrition programs treating severe acute malnutrition, with a low mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC <115 mm) when weight gain is >15%. When this recommendation is followed, the most severely malnourished children receive a shorter treatment compared to children that are less severely malnourished. This study assesses whether using MUAC >125 mm as discharge criteria eliminates this effect.