Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Cost-free Nutrition Programme on Children in Reo Health District, Burkina Faso

Compaore Wendinpuikondo Raketa Ella, Ouedraogo Ousmane, Souho Tiatou, Nikiema Philippe Augustin, Virginio Pietra, Ellahi Basma, Amouzou Sabiba Kou’santa Emile, Meda Nicolas, Dicko Hama Mamoudou


Background: The community management for acute malnutrition (CMAM) was started in 2012 with the aim to impact the lives of a large number of children suffering from acute malnutrition without any cost. Objective: The study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the CMAM program on severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) treatment. Methods: Children aged 6 to 59 months were screened for malnutrition in a complementary compulsory screening program. Acutely malnourished children underwent free medical and nutritional treatment. Evaluation of the CMAM program implementation was performed by comparison with paid services by collecting data from malnourished children’s parents. Results: From the 64458 screened children, 835 were diagnosed as new acutely malnourished cases and referred to health centers for treatment. The anthropometric parameters (MUAC, weight, height) have significantly improved from the time of admission to the end of treatment. Performance indicators using the Sphere standards were above the expected level for outpatient treatment but for inpatient treatment, it failed to meet the expected standard. Poverty and the use of traditional medicine to treat malnutrition, distance, availability, and cost of transportation to the health center were significant barriers to the continuation of healthcare services. Conclusion: The CMAM program is effective. It covered and allowed the treatment of several children presenting the number of pathologies reducing children's morbidity and mortality. In order to increase children’s nutritional status, it will be helpful to work with traditional healers.

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