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Food supplements plus cash to poor families reduces rates of child malnutrition in Niger

Date:
September 2, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
In Niger, interventions that combined the distribution of supplementary food with a cash transfer to poor families prevented acute malnutrition in young children more effectively than strategies that relied on either cash transfer or supplementary food distribution alone, according to a new study.
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In Niger, interventions that combined the distribution of supplementary food with a cash transfer to poor families prevented acute malnutrition in young children more effectively than strategies that relied on either cash transfer or supplementary food distribution alone, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The authors, led by Céline Langendorf from Epicentre in Paris, France, reached these conclusions by conducting a prospective intervention study in over 5000 children aged 6-23 months and their families living in 48 villages in the Madarounfa district of Niger. The authors compared the effectiveness of seven preventative strategies, including the distribution of different forms of nutritious supplementary foods with and without additional household support (family food ration or cash transfer) and cash transfer alone, on the rates of moderate and severe acute malnutrition in the enrolled children.

Using this approach, the authors found that the rate of moderate acute malnutrition was about twice as high among children who received the cash-only intervention than those who received any of the food supplements plus cash: the rate of moderate acute malnutrition was 3.33 cases per 100 child-months among children who received a supplementary food plus cash intervention compared to 7.97 cases per 100 child-months among those who received the cash-only intervention. For severe acute malnutrition, the rate was about three times higher among the children who received the supplementary food only compared to those who received a supplementary food plus cash intervention.

The authors say: "These results can be used to guide donor decisions, particularly in the high-burden Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the operational strategies of agencies in their programmatic response to crises."

In an accompanying Perspective, Marko Kerac and Andrew Seal from University College London say: "Numerous messages arise from this paper that will play a major role in informing and shaping future policy, practice, and research."


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Journal Reference:

  1. Céline Langendorf, Thomas Roederer, Saskia de Pee, Denise Brown, Stéphane Doyon, Abdoul-Aziz Mamaty, Lynda W.-M. Touré, Mahamane L. Manzo, Rebecca F. Grais. Preventing Acute Malnutrition among Young Children in Crises: A Prospective Intervention Study in Niger. PLoS Medicine, 2014; 11 (9): e1001714 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001714

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Food supplements plus cash to poor families reduces rates of child malnutrition in Niger." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902144157.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, September 2). Food supplements plus cash to poor families reduces rates of child malnutrition in Niger. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902144157.htm
PLOS. "Food supplements plus cash to poor families reduces rates of child malnutrition in Niger." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902144157.htm (accessed June 18, 2024).

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