Outcomes of Severely Malnourished Children Aged 6 - 59 Months on Outpatient Management Program in Kitui County Hospital, Kenya


Severe acute malnutrition is a widely prevalent problem in developing countries and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Traditionally, children with severe acute malnutrition were rehabilitated within inpatient services. Advent of ready to use therapeutic food made it possible to treat majority of these children in their homes. However, there is limited data about the outcomes of the program. Objectives: To determine the outcomes (recovery, default, mean weight gain and non-response rates) of severely malnourished children aged 6 - 59 months enrolled in outpatient therapeutic program at Kitui County Hospital. Methodology: A prospective longitudinal study design was carried out for one month. Hundred and four (104) children with SAM were recruited in the study. Anthropometric measurements, physical examination and appetite test of the children were conducted on a weekly basis for 28 days. Descriptive analysis was conducted using means, frequency and proportions. Paired t test was computed for mean weight gain and mid-upper arm circumference between admission and subsequent visits. Results: The findings of the study revealed that the recovery rate was 73.3%, weight gain rate of 5.1 g/kg/day, defaulter rate was 2.9% and non-response rate was 13.9% (WHZ = -3SD). Mean weight increased from 6.8 kg on the 1st visit to 7.5 kg in the 4th visit (P = 0.000) and the meanmid-upper arm circumferenceincreased from 11.1 cm at admission to 11.9 cm at 4th visit (P = 0.000). Conclusion: The recovery and weight gain rates were below the global acceptable SPHERE of minimum standards (recovery rate > 75% and weight gain rate > 8 g/kg/day). The defaulter rate was within the acceptable international standards (<15%).

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Mbaya, D. , Bitok, L. , Karani, A. , Osano, B. and Habtu, M. (2015) Outcomes of Severely Malnourished Children Aged 6 - 59 Months on Outpatient Management Program in Kitui County Hospital, Kenya. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 5, 326-333. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2015.54049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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