A Large-Scale Distribution of Milk-Based Fortified Spreads: Evidence for a New Approach in Regions with High Burden of Acute Malnutrition

Isabelle Defourny, Andrea Minetti, Ge´za Harczi, Ste´phane Doyon, Susan Shepherd, Milton Tectonidis, Jean-Herve´ Bradol, Michael Golden

This study demonstrated the potential for distribution of fortified spreads to reduce the incidence of severe
wasting in large population of children 6–36 months of age in a District of the Maradi Region, Niger.

This study evaluated a large-scale distribution of a nutritional supplement on the prevention of wasting. The intervention consisted of six monthly distributions of RUF during the 2007 hunger gap in the district for approximately 60,000 children (length: 60–85 cm). At each distribution, all children over 65 cm had their Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) recorded.

The results of the intervention showed that throughout the period of the distribution, the incidence of
severe acute malnutrition (MUAC,110 mm) remained at extremely low levels. Comparison of year-over-year admissions to
the therapeutic feeding program showed that the 2007 blanket distribution had essentially the same flattening effect on the
seasonal rise in admissions as the 2006 individualized treatment of almost 60,000 children moderately wasted.

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