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Nutrition


Screening for Acute Childhood Malnutrition during the National Nutrition Week in Mali Increases Treatment Referrals
Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011
Author: Daniele H. Nyirandutiye et al.

by Daniele H. Nyirandutiye, Akory Ag Iknane, Amadou Fofana, Kenneth H. Brown

Objective

To evaluate a pilot intervention designed to integrate mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screening for acute malnutrition into the semi-annual Child Nutrition Week (Semaine d'Intensification des Activités de Nutrition, or “SIAN”) activities carried out in June 2008.

Design

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Kolokani and Nara, two health districts in the Koulikoro region of Mali, 4–5 months after the SIAN, using a population-proportionate, multi-stage random sample of: 1) health centers, and 2) households in communities linked to each of the selected health centers. Caregivers of 1543 children who were 6–59 months of age at the time of the SIAN, 17 community-based volunteers and 45 health center staff members were interviewed.

Results

A total of 1278 children 6–59 months (83% of those studied) reportedly participated in SIAN. Of the participating children, 1258 received vitamin A (98% of SIAN participants; 82% of all eligible children), 945 received anti-helminth tablets (84% of participants; 71% of eligibles), and 669 were screened for acute malnutrition (52% of participants; 43% of eligibles). 186 of the children screened (27%) were reportedly identified as acutely malnourished. SIAN screening covered a significantly greater proportion of children than were examined in both community-based (22% of children) and health center-based screening activities (5% of children) combined during the 4-5 months after the SIAN (P<0.0001). In general, community volunteers and health personnel positively evaluated their experience adding MUAC screening to SIAN.

Conclusion

Integrating MUAC screening for acute malnutrition in SIAN permits the assessment of a large number of children for acute malnutrition, and should be continued.

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