Preventing Acute Malnutrition among Young Children in Crises: A Prospective Intervention Study in Niger.
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AbstractFinding the most appropriate strategy for the prevention of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in young children is essential in countries like Niger with annual "hunger gaps." Options for large-scale prevention include distribution of supplementary foods, such as fortified-blended foods or lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNSs) with or without household support (cash or food transfer). To date, there has been no direct controlled comparison between these strategies leading to debate concerning their effectiveness. We compared the effectiveness of seven preventive strategies-including distribution of nutritious supplementary foods, with or without additional household support (family food ration or cash transfer), and cash transfer only-on the incidence of SAM and MAM among children aged 6-23 months over a 5-month period, partly overlapping the hunger gap, in Maradi region, Niger. We hypothesized that distributions of supplementary foods would more effectively reduce the incidence of acute malnutrition than distributions of household support by cash transfer.
PublisherPublic Library of Science