• Acceptability of new formulations of Corn-Soy Blends and Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements in Province du Passoré, Burkina Faso

      Iuel-Brockdorf, A-S; Dræbel, T A; Fabiansen, C; Cichon, B; Christensen, V B; Yameogo, C; Ritz, C; Olsen, M F; Friis, H (Elsevier, 2015-04-23)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of new formulations of six corn-soy blended flours (CSB) and six lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy to be used for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Furthermore, we wanted to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Burkina Faso to identify possible barriers that could affect the acceptability of the new formulations of supplementary foods. The study was carried out prior to a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of these new formulations. The study involved an observed test-meal and a three-day take-home ration of the experimental food supplements to 6-30-months-old healthy children, followed by questionnaire-based interviews about the acceptability of these supplements. Interviews and focus group discussions were carried out to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. The results suggest that both LNS and CSB products with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy are equally well accepted among healthy children in rural Burkina Faso based on general appreciation of the supplements and organoleptic properties. All experimental foods received good ratings and there was no significant difference between the foods. However, after the take-home ration, 58% of participants receiving CSB reported having left-overs at the end of the day compared to 37% (n=33) of the participants receiving LNS (p=0.004), suggesting that CSB was not as readily consumed as LNS. Yet, both CSB and LNS products were perceived as easy to administer and the frequency of feeding was estimated to be adequate. The study also found that similar foods, used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, were well appreciated in the study location. LNS were to a higher degree associated with medicine or foods with medicinal properties, but both LNS and CSB were perceived as beneficial to child health.
    • 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.
    • Acute Malnutrition and Under-5 Mortality, Northeastern Part of India.

      Espié, E; Roure Pujol, C; Masferrer, M; Saint-Sauveur, J-F; Palma Urrutia, P P; Grais, R; Epicentre, Paris, France; Medecins Sans Frontieres, OCB, Belgium (2010-11-23)
      We assessed the prevalence of childhood acute malnutrition and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in Darbhanga district, India, using a two-stage 49-cluster household survey. A total of 1379 households comprising 8473 people were interviewed. During a 90-day recall period, U5MR was 0.5 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.2-1.4] per 10 000 per day. The prevalence of global acute malnutrition among 1405 children aged 6-59 months was 15.4% (NCHS) and 19.4% (2006 WHO references). This survey suggests that in Darbhanga district, the population is in a borderline food crisis with few food resources. Appropriate strategies should be developed to improve the overall nutritional and health status of children.
    • Admission Profile and Discharge Outcomes for Infants Aged Less than 6 Months Admitted to Inpatient Therapeutic Care in 10 Countries. A Secondary Data Analysis

      Grijalva-Eternod, CS; Kerac, M; McGrath, M; Wilkinson, C; Hirsch, JC; Delchevalerie, P; Seal, AJ (Wiley-Blackwell We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2016-07-25)
      Evidence on the management of acute malnutrition in infants aged less than 6 months (infants <6mo) is scarce. To understand outcomes using current protocols, we analysed a sample of 24 045 children aged 0-60 months from 21 datasets of inpatient therapeutic care programmes in 10 countries. We compared the proportion of admissions, the anthropometric profile at admission and the discharge outcomes between infants <6mo and children aged 6-60 months (older children). Infants <6mo accounted for 12% of admissions. The quality of anthropometric data at admission was more problematic in infants <6mo than in older children with a greater proportion of missing data (a 6.9 percentage point difference for length values, 95% CI: 6.0; 7.9, P < 0.01), anthropometric measures that could not be converted to indices (a 15.6 percentage point difference for weight-for-length z-score values, 95% CI: 14.3; 16.9, P < 0.01) and anthropometric indices that were flagged as outliers (a 2.7 percentage point difference for any anthropometric index being flagged as an outlier, 95% CI: 1.7; 3.8, P < 0.01). A high proportion of both infants <6mo and older children were discharged as recovered. Infants <6mo showed a greater risk of death during treatment (risk ratio 1.30, 95% CI: 1.09; 1.56, P < 0.01). Infants <6mo represent an important proportion of admissions to therapeutic feeding programmes, and there are crucial challenges associated with their care. Systematic compilation and analysis of routine data for infants <6mo is necessary for monitoring programme performance and should be promoted as a tool to monitor the impact of new guidelines on care.
    • Amoxicillin for Severe Acute Malnutrition in Children

      Isanaka, S; Adehossi, E; Grais, R (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2016-07-14)
    • 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.
    • Assessing the impact of the introduction of the World Health Organization growth standards and weight-for-height z-score criterion on the response to treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children: Secondary data analysis

      Isanaka, S; Villamor, E; Shepherd, S; Grais, R; Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France; Epicentre, Paris, France (Published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009-01-01)
      OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to assess the impact of adopting the World Health Organization growth standards and weight-for-height z-score criterion on the response to treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children compared with the use of the National Center for Health Statistics growth reference. METHODS: We used data from children aged 6 to 59 months with acute malnutrition who were admitted to the Médecins sans Frontières nutrition program in Maradi, Niger, during 2006 (N = 56214). Differences in weight gain, duration of treatment, recovery from malnutrition, mortality, loss to follow-up, and need for inpatient care were compared for severely malnourished children identified according to the National Center for Health Statistics reference and weight-for-height <70% of the median criterion versus the World Health Organization standards and the weight-for-height less than -3 z-score criterion. RESULTS: A total of 8 times more children (n = 25754) were classified as severely malnourished according to the World Health Organization standards compared with the National Center for Health Statistics reference (n = 2989). Children included according to the World Health Organization standards had shorter durations of treatment, greater rates of recovery, fewer deaths, and less loss to follow-up or need for inpatient care. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of the World Health Organization standards with the z-score criterion to identify children for admission into severe acute malnutrition treatment programs would imply the inclusion of children who are younger but have relatively higher weight for height on admission compared with the National Center for Health Statistics reference. These children have fewer medical complications requiring inpatient care and are more likely to experience shorter durations of treatment and lower mortality rates. The World Health Organization standards with the z-score criterion might become a useful tool for the early detection of acute malnutrition in children, although additional research on the resource implications of this transition is required.
    • Assessing the prevalence of malnutrition in tribal children using MUAC as a screening tool

      Qureshi, M; Qureshi, I; Syed, A; Kokku, S B (F1000Research, 2015-01-27)
    • Assessment of Dietary Exposure to Some Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Republic of Karakalpakstan of Uzbekistan.

      Muntean, N; Jermini, M; Small, I; Falzon, D; Fürst, P; Migliorati, G; Scortichini, G; Forti, A F; Anklam, E; von Holst, C; et al. (Published by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2003-08)
      A 1999 study heightened long-standing concerns over persistent organic pollutant contamination in the Aral Sea area, detecting elevated levels in breast milk and cord blood of women in Karakalpakstan (western Uzbekistan). These findings prompted a collaborative research study aimed at linking such human findings with evidence of food chain contamination in the area. An international team carried out analyses of organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) on samples of 12 foods commonly produced and consumed in Karakalpakstan. Analysis consistently detected long-lasting organochlorine pesticides and their metabolites in all foods of animal origin and in some vegetables such as onions and carrots--two low-cost components of many traditional dishes. Levels of PCBs were relatively low in all samples except fish. Analyses revealed high levels of PCDDs and PCDFs (together often termed "dioxins") in sheep fat, dairy cream, eggs, and edible cottonseed oil, among other foodstuffs. These findings indicate that food traditionally grown, sold, and consumed in Karakalpakstan is a major route of human exposure to several persistent toxic contaminants, including the most toxic of dioxins, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD). Intake estimations demonstrate that consumption of even small amounts of locally grown food may expose consumers to dioxin levels that considerably exceed the monthly tolerable dioxin intake levels set by the World Health Organization. Data presented in this study allow a first assessment of the risk associated with the consumption of certain food products in Karakalpakstan and highlight a critical public health situation.
    • Assessment of Regression Models for Adjustment of Iron Status Biomarkers for Inflammation in Children with Moderate Acute Malnutrition in Burkina Faso

      Cichon, B; Ritz, C; Fabiansen, C; Christensen, V; Filteau, S; Friis, H; Kæstel, P (American Society for Nutrition, 2017-01)
      Biomarkers of iron status are affected by inflammation. In order to interpret them in individuals with inflammation, the use of correction factors (CFs) has been proposed.
    • Beyond wasted and stunted—a major shift to fight child undernutrition

      Wells, JCK; Briend, A; Boyd, EM; Berkely, JA; Hall, A; Isanaka, S; Webb, P; Khara, T; Dolan, C (Elsevier, 2019-09-11)
      Child undernutrition refers broadly to the condition in which food intake is inadequate to meet a child's needs for physiological function, growth, and the capacity to respond to illness. Since the 1970s, nutritionists have categorised undernutrition in two major ways, either as wasted (ie, low weight for height, or small mid-upper arm circumference) or stunted (ie, low height for age). This approach, although useful for identifying populations at risk of undernutrition, creates several problems: the focus is on children who have already become undernourished, and this approach draws an artificial distinction between two idealised types of undernourished children that are widely interpreted as indicative of either acute or chronic undernutrition. This distinction in turn has led to the separation of programmatic approaches to prevent and treat child undernutrition. In the past 3 years, research has shown that individual children are at risk of both conditions, might be born with both, pass from one state to the other over time, and accumulate risks to their health and life through their combined effects. The current emphasis on identifying children who are already wasted or stunted detracts attention from the larger number of children undergoing the process of becoming undernourished. We call for a major shift in thinking regarding how we assess child undernutrition, and how prevention and treatment programmes can best address the diverse causes and dynamic biological processes that underlie undernutrition.
    • Can height-adjusted cut-offs improve MUAC's utility as an assessment tool?

      Van Herp, M; Werwulgen, A; Leurquin, B; Delchevalerie, P (Emergency Nutrition Network, 2007-04)
    • Community-based management of severe acute malnutrition in India: new evidence from Bihar

      Burza, S; Mahajan, R; Marino, E; Sunyoto, T; Shandilya, C; Tabrez, M; Kumari, K; Mathew, P; Jha, A; Salse, N; et al. (American Society for Nutrition, 2015-04)
      An estimated one-third of the world's children who are wasted live in India. In Bihar state, of children <5 y old, 27.1% are wasted and 8.3% have severe acute malnutrition (SAM). In 2009, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) initiated a community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) program for children aged 6-59 mo with SAM.
    • Comparison of the new World Health Organization growth standards and the National Center for Health Statistics growth reference regarding mortality of malnourished children treated in a 2006 nutrition program in Niger.

      Dale, N M; Grais, R; Minetti, A; Miettola, J; Barengo, N C; Department of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland. dalenmca@yahoo.com (2009-02)
      OBJECTIVE: To compare the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) international growth reference with the new World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards for identification of the malnourished (wasted) children most at risk of death. DESIGN: Retrospective data analysis. SETTING: A Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) nutrition program in Maradi, Niger, in 2006 that treated moderately and severely malnourished children. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 53 661 wasted children aged 6 months to 5 years (272 of whom died) in the program were included. INTERVENTIONS: EpiNut (Epi Info 6.0; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia) software was used to calculate the percentage of the median for the NCHS reference group, and the WHO (igrowup macro; Geneva, Switzerland) software was used to calculate z scores for the WHO standards group of the 53 661 wasted children. OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures are the difference in classification of children as either moderate or severely malnourished according to the NCHS growth reference and the new WHO growth standards, specifically focusing on children who died during the program. RESULTS: Of the children classified as moderately wasted using the NCHS reference, 37% would have been classified as severely wasted according to the new WHO growth standards. These children were almost 3 times more likely to die than those classified as moderately wasted by both references, and deaths in this group constituted 47% of all deaths in the program. CONCLUSIONS: The new WHO growth standards identifies more children as severely wasted compared with the NCHS growth reference, including children at high mortality risk who would potentially otherwise be excluded from some therapeutic feeding programs.
    • Comparison of weight-for-height and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) in a therapeutic feeding programme in South Sudan: is MUAC alone a sufficient criterion for admission of children at high risk of mortality?

      Grellety, Emmanuel; Krause, L Kendall; Shams Eldin, Manal; Porten, Klaudia; Isanaka, Sheila (Cambridge University Press - We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2015-03-25)
      The present study was performed to describe the operational implications of using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) as a single admission criterion for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan.
    • Cost analysis of the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in West Africa

      Isanaka, S; Menzies, NA; Sayyad, J; Ayoola, M; Grais, RF; Doyon, S (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-12-05)
      We present an updated cost analysis to provide new estimates of the cost of providing community-based treatment for severe acute malnutrition, including expenditure shares for major cost categories. We calculated total and per child costs from a provider perspective. We categorized costs into three main activities (outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment, and management/administration) and four cost categories within each activity (personnel; therapeutic food; medical supplies; and infrastructure and logistical support). For each category, total costs were calculated by multiplying input quantities expended in the Médecins Sans Frontières nutrition program in Niger during a 12-month study period by 2015 input prices. All children received outpatient treatment, with 43% also receiving inpatient treatment. In this large, well-established program, the average cost per child treated was €148.86, with outpatient and inpatient treatment costs of €75.50 and €134.57 per child, respectively. Therapeutic food (44%, €32.98 per child) and personnel (35%, €26.70 per child) dominated outpatient costs, while personnel (56%, €75.47 per child) dominated in the cost of inpatient care. Sensitivity analyses suggested lowering prices of medical treatments, and therapeutic food had limited effect on total costs per child, while increasing program size and decreasing use of expatriate staff support reduced total costs per child substantially. Updated estimates of severe acute malnutrition treatment cost are substantially lower than previously published values, and important cost savings may be possible with increases in coverage/program size and integration into national health programs. These updated estimates can be used to suggest approaches to improve efficiency and inform national-level resource allocation.
    • Could Nutritional Rehabilitation at Home Complement or Replace Centre-based Therapeutic Feeding Programmes for Severe Malnutrition?

      Gaboulaud, V; Dan-Bouzoua, N; Brasher, C; Fedida, G; Gergonne, B; Brown, V; Epicentre, Paris, France. vgaboulaud@epicentre.msf.org (Published by Oxford University Press, 2007-02)
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    • Crisis in Niger--outpatient care for severe acute malnutrition.

      Tectonidis, M; Medical Department of Médecins sans Frontières, Paris. (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2006-01-19)
    • Determinants of dietary practices during pregnancy: A longitudinal qualitative study in Niger

      Rosen, JG; Clermont, A; Kodish, SR; Seck, AM; Salifou, A; Grais, RF; Isanaka, S (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018-06-28)
      Undernutrition is associated with maternal morbidity and poor pregnancy outcomes. This qualitative study seeks to understand the multilevel factors influencing maternal dietary practices in Niger, including the impact of pregnancy illnesses on diet. Criterion-based, purposive sampling was used to select pregnant women and household members from 24 villages in a rural district of the Maradi Region in south-central Niger. Semistructured interviews (n = 153) and focus group discussions (n = 38) explored 4 primary themes: (a) perceptions of ideal diet during pregnancy, (b) barriers to consuming the ideal diet, (c) coping strategies including dietary responses related to pregnancy illnesses, and (d) changes in perceptions from early to late pregnancy. Longitudinal data collection allowed for repeated interviews of pregnant women to document changes in dietary practices throughout pregnancy. Transcripts were coded using an inductive approach informed by grounded theory methodology. Participants categorized foods into 4 primary dietary taxonomies when discussing ideal maternal diets but cited constraints related to accessibility and availability impeding routine consumption of these foods. Perceptions of "modern," urban foods as healthy, coupled with key structural barriers such as food costs, were identified. Maternal morbidity influenced food consumption, as women reported reducing food intake early in pregnancy in response to illness episodes. Although awareness of optimal foods for supporting healthy pregnancies was moderately high, some misconceptions were observed and multilevel barriers to food security restricted opportunities for consuming these foods. Nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions could improve access and availability of acceptable foods for supporting increased dietary intake during pregnancy.
    • Development of a cross-over randomized trial method to determine the acceptability and safety of novel ready-to-use therapeutic foods

      Dibari, F; Bahwere, P; Huerga, H; Irena, A H; Owino, V; Collins, S; Seal, A (Elsevier, 2013-01)
      To develop a method for determining the acceptability and safety of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) before clinical trialing. Acceptability was defined using a combination of three consumption, nine safety, and six preference criteria. These were used to compare a soy/maize/sorghum RUTF (SMS-RUTFh), designed for the rehabilitation of human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis (HIV/TB) wasted adults, with a peanut-butter/milk-powder paste (P-RUTF; brand: Plumpy'nut) designed for pediatric treatment.