Determinants of recovery time for children with moderate acute malnutrition enrolled in UNWFP’s supplementary feeding programme in Pader and Amuru Districts.
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Acute Malnutrition is a leading cause of concern in both developing and developed countries among public health actors. It has severe and costly implications including the increased risk of illness and death, and impaired mental development. The main objective of this study was to investigate the determinants of recovery time of children with moderate acute malnutrition admitted in the World Food Programme (WFP) supported supplementary feeding centers. Using hospital records, the study employed an accelerated failure time model to study the determinants of recovery time for moderately acute malnourished patients in the WFP supported supplementary feeding programme in Pajule health center IV of Pader district and Labongogali health center II of Amuru district in Northern Uganda. A total of 617 children under the age of five years were included in the study, with 54 percent male and 46 percent female. 84 percent of the children surveyed were below the age of 3 years. The study considered patients under two different food-based interventions: supplementary plumpy and a CSB-sugar-oil premix. Of the 617 children in the study, 54 percent received a CSB-sugar-oil premix and the 46 percent received supplementary plumpy. In order to attain target weight, patients spent a median time in days of 70 (IQR=28) days in the programme. Patients receiving the CSB-sugar-oil premix showed a shorter median recovery time (Median: IQR = 56: 21) than those that receiving supplementary plumpy (median: IQR = 84: 7). The study found that knowledge of a patients HIV status resulted in a patient spending a shorter time on the programme. In addition, children with a more severe case of malnutrition spent a longer time on treatment compared to those with a mild case of malnutrition. Based on these results, the study concluded that CSB-Sugar-Oil premix was a better treatment intervention for moderate acute malnutrition compared to supplementary plumpy; knowledge of a child’s HIV status is critical to improving treatment outcomes; and that early identification of moderate acute malnutrition in children followed by their enrolment into the supplementary feeding programme is a cost-effective strategy as it entails shorter recovery time. The study recommends that a Corn Soya blend-Oil-Sugar combination made into a porridge meal for the patient be largely adopted as a preferred treatment intervention for moderate acute malnutrition. The study also recommends the promotion of interventions that encourage early identification and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition cases. Finally all children enrolled into moderate acute malnutrition treatment programme should have their HIV status established before management sine this improves treatment outcomes.