Globally, child undernutrition is the underlying cause for 3.1 million deaths of children younger than 5 years. 18.7 million children under five years of age suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and an additional 33 million children suffer from moderate acute malnutrition, and are at risk of developing SAM.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is often poor integration between programs to treat child acute malnutrition and programs that focus on the prevention of acute and chronic undernutrition - resulting in many missed opportunities for using prevention platforms to screen and refer SAM children, or for using screening and referral platforms to provide prevention services.
This project will address two critical gaps related to the integration of preventive and treatment programs:
- screening and treatment of MAM/SAM have not yet been systematically integrated into routine health-center visits or mainstreamed into community outreach programs; and
- screening programs do not offer any preventive services for those children found not to be suffering from MAM/SAM at the time of screening; mothers of children identified as non-MAM/SAM case are usually sent home without receiving any health or nutrition inputs and as a result, may fail to come back for screening because they do not see any tangible benefit associated with their participation in the screening.
This project will specifically address these gaps by assessing the effect of an integrated approach consisting of higher screening coverage and preventive Behavior Change Communication (BCC) + Small-Quantity Lipid-based Nutrient supplementation (SQ-LNS) on both prevention and treatment of child undernutrition.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02323815