A comparative study of the efficacy of super cereal, vegetable oil and sugar combination vs plumpy sup in treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in Acholi Region, Uganda
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The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of two new and improved nutritious food commodities, plumpy sup and a mixture of super cereal with vegetable oil and sugar, in the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition. The study adopted a research design which was in the form of a prospective, cluster-randomized controlled trial, comparing the relative effectiveness of the two supplemental feeding commodities. Randomization was done from a list of the 40 health centres (clusters) across the districts. Each centre allocated to distribute one of the two commodities using a random number generator (clusters were assumed to have negligible within-cluster correlation). A total of 20 health centres distributed Plumpy sup while the other 20 health centres distributed CSB+ with vegetable oil and sugar (see Appendix for list of centers). Data was collected using primary data collected from a WFP supported community based supplementary feeding programme, whereby the study employed an accelerated failure time model to study the recovery time for moderate acute malnourished children 6-59 months of age in the WFP supported supplementary feeding programme A total of 1,515 children under the age of five years were included in the study. The findings revealed that although plumpy sup led to shorter recovery period than supercereal-sugar-vegetable oil mixture, the difference was only three days and cost more. The study concluded that CSB-Sugar-Oil premix is a better treatment intervention for moderate acute malnutrition in Acholi region, compared to plumpy sup based on cost and the fact that with the same funding for plumpy sup, 5,565 more children would be able to benefit if the mixture was applied. The study recommended that for managers making programmatic decisions on which commodity to consider, super cerealsugar- vegetable oil large scale programmes while local production possibilities are explored to reduce costs of using plumpy sup.