• Accuracy of MUAC in the detection of severe wasting with the new WHO growth standards.

      Fernández, M A L; Delchevalerie, P; Van Herp, M; Medical Department, Brussels Operational Center, Doctors Without Borders, Brussels, Belgium. miguel.angel.luque@brussels.msf.org (2010-07)
      OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to estimate the accuracy of using mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) measurements to diagnose severe wasting by comparing the new standards from the World Health Organization (WHO) with those from the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and to analyze the age independence of the MUAC cutoff values for both curves. METHODS: We used cross-sectional anthropometric data for 34,937 children between the ages of 6 and 59 months, from 39 nutritional surveys conducted by Doctors Without Borders. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to examine the accuracy of MUAC diagnoses. MUAC age independence was analyzed with logistic regression models. RESULTS: With the new WHO curve, the performance of MUAC measurements, in terms of sensitivity and specificity, deteriorated. With different cutoff values, however, the WHO standards significantly improved the predictive value of MUAC measurements over the NCHS standards. The sensitivity and specificity of MUAC measurements were the most age independent when the WHO curve, rather than the NCHS curve, was used. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the need to change the MUAC cutoff value from <110 mm to <115 mm. This increase of 5 mm produces a large change in sensitivity (from 16% to 25%) with little loss in specificity, improves the probability of diagnosing severe wasting, and reduces false-negative results by 12%. This change is needed to maintain the same diagnostic accuracy as the old curve and to identify the children at greatest risk of death resulting from severe wasting.
    • Anthropometric Indices Used for the Diagnosis of Malnutrition in Adolescents and Adults: Review of the Literature

      Dorlencourt, F; Priem, V; Legros, D; Epicentre, 4 rue St Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (2000-01)
      The International Dietary Energy Consultative Group, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), has done most of the research conducted in the field of adult malnutrition in the late 1980's. These studies were carried out mainly in populations suffering from chronic malnutrition, and led to the current WHO recommendations for the diagnosis and classification of adult malnutrition. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the gold standard to be used in adults, with the following cut-off points identified: 16.0, 17.0 and 18.5. The good correlation observed between BMI and Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) led to the determination of corresponding cut-off points. However, the very few field studies available in the literature are in favor of a lowering of the BMI cut-off points during nutritional emergencies. Several questions need to be answered through field research, mainly concerning the type of indicator best predicting the risk of death, and the type of indicator to be used in adolescents, pregnant women and older people.
    • 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, R; 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.
    • Impact of the shift from NCHS growth reference to WHO(2006) growth standards in a therapeutic feeding programme in Niger.

      Minetti, A; Shams Eldin, M; Defourny, I; Harczi, G; Epicentre, 75011 Paris, France. andrea.minetti@epicentre.msf.org (2009-10)
      OBJECTIVES: To describe the implementation of the WHO(2006) growth standards in a therapeutic feeding programme. METHODS: Using programme monitoring data from 21,769 children 6-59 months admitted to the Médecins Sans Frontières therapeutic feeding programme during 2007, we compared characteristics at admission, type of care and outcomes for children admitted before and after the shift to the WHO(2006) standards. Admission criteria were bipedal oedema, MUAC <110 mm, or weight-for-height (WFH) of <-70% of the median (NCHS) before mid-May 2007, and WFH <-3 z score (WHO(2006)) after mid-May 2007. RESULTS: Children admitted with the WHO(2006) standards were more likely to be younger, with a higher proportion of males, and less malnourished (mean WFH -3.6 z score vs. mean WFH -4.6 z score). They were less likely to require hospitalization or intensive care (28.4%vs. 77%; 12.8%vs. 36.5%) and more likely to be treated exclusively on an outpatient basis (71.6%vs. 23%). Finally, they experienced better outcomes (cure rate: 89%vs. 71.7%, death rate: 2.7%vs. 6.4%, default rate: 6.7%vs. 12.3%). CONCLUSIONS: In this programme, the WHO(2006) standards identify a larger number of malnourished children at an earlier stage of disease facilitating their treatment success.
    • Low and deficient niacin status and pellagra are endemic in postwar Angola

      Seal, A J; Creeke, P I; Dibari, F; Cheung, E; Kyroussis, E; Semedo, P; van den Briel, T; Centre for International Child Health, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom; World Food Programme, Luanda, Angola; MSF–Belgium, Kuito, Angola; Ministry of Health, Luanda, Angola; World Food Programme, Rome, Italy (2007-01-01)
      BACKGROUND: Outbreaks of pellagra were documented during the civil war in Angola, but no contemporary data on the incidence of pellagra or the prevalence of niacin deficiency were available. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate the incidence of pellagra and the prevalence of niacin deficiency in postwar Angola and their relation with dietary intake, poverty, and anthropometric status. DESIGN: Admissions data from 1999 to 2004 from the pellagra treatment clinic in Kuito, Angola, were analyzed. New patients admitted over 1 wk were examined, and urine and blood samples were collected. A multistage cluster population survey collected data on anthropometric measures, household dietary intakes, socioeconomic status, and clinical signs of pellagra for women and children. Urinary excretion of 1-methylnicotinamide, 1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxymide, and creatinine was measured and hemoglobin concentrations were measured with a portable photometer. RESULTS: The incidence of clinical pellagra has not decreased since the end of the civil war in 2002. Low excretion of niacin metabolites was confirmed in 10 of 11 new clinic patients. Survey data were collected for 723 women aged 15-49 y and for 690 children aged 6-59 mo. Excretion of niacin metabolites was low in 29.4% of the women and 6.0% of the children, and the creatinine-adjusted concentrations were significantly lower in the women than in the children (P < 0.001, t test). In children, niacin status was positively correlated with the household consumption of peanuts (r = 0.374, P = 0.001) and eggs (r = 0.290, P = 0.012) but negatively correlated with socioeconomic status (r = -0.228, P = 0.037). CONCLUSIONS: The expected decrease in pellagra incidence after the end of the civil war has not occurred. The identification of niacin deficiency as a public health problem should refocus attention on this nutritional deficiency in Angola and other areas of Africa where maize is the staple.
    • 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.
    • Risk factors for malnutrition in 0-59-month-old infants in 2 districts of Niger

      Quelin, G; Pecoul, B; Amadou, B; Baker, S; Médecin épidémiologiste, Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris. (1991)
      A nutritional survey by cluster sampling at 2 degrees, carried out in April 1987 within a range of action of 6 health structures in Niger, has permitted the calculation of the weight/height index among children aged from 0 to 59 months and the malnutrition rate, according to the socio-economic status, the demographic variables, the intercurrent diseases, the use of health departments, alimentary and weaning habits. The standardized rate of acute malnutrition for the age among of 0-59 months is 12.3%. The risk factors for acute malnutrition retained after logistical regression are the age groups of 6-17 months and 18-29 months, the areas of Guidan Roumdji, Tahoua, Tajae, Guidan Sori and the group of children that have contracted diarrhea during the 15 days preceding the survey.
    • Treatment of severe malnutrition with 2-day intramuscular ceftriaxone vs 5-day amoxicillin.

      Dubray, C; Ibrahim, S A; Abdelmutalib, M; Guerin, P J; Dantoine, F; Belanger, F; Legros, D; Pinoges, L; Brown, V; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Maney Publishing, 2008-03)
      BACKGROUND: Systemic antibiotics are routinely prescribed for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). However, there is no consensus regarding the most suitable regimen. In a therapeutic feeding centre in Khartoum, Sudan, a randomised, unblinded, superiority-controlled trial was conducted, comparing once daily intramuscular injection with ceftriaxone for 2 days with oral amoxicillin twice daily for 5 days in children aged 6-59 months with SAM. METHODS: Commencing with the first measured weight gain (WG) following admission, the risk difference and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for children with a WG > or = 10 g/kg/day were calculated over a 14-day period. The recovery rate and case fatality ratio (CFR) between the two groups were also calculated. RESULTS: In an intention-to-treat analysis of 458 children, 53.5% (123/230) in the amoxicillin group and 55.7% (127/228, difference 2.2%, 95% CI -6.9-11.3) in the ceftriaxone group had a WG > or = 10 g/kg/day during a 14-day period. Recovery rate was 70% (161/230) in the amoxicillin group and 74.6% (170/228) in the ceftriaxone group (p=0.27). CFR was 3.9% (9/230) and 3.1% (7/228), respectively (p=0.67). Most deaths occurred within the 1st 2 weeks of admission. CONCLUSION: In the absence of severe complications, either ceftriaxone or amoxicillin is appropriate for malnourished children. However, in ambulatory programmes, especially where there are large numbers of admissions, ceftriaxone should facilitate the work of medical personnel.