The Role of integrated therapy and nutritional counselling in treating malnourished children in M-East ward Mumbai, India: A Longitudinal Study
Keywords:Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), malnourishment, counselling, slums
Background: Under-nutrition is a big risk factor for increasing the morbidity and mortality burden in the society. Acute malnutrition contributes to almost 61% of diarrheal and 53% of pneumonia deaths. In urban slums like M-East ward, Mumbai, acute malnutrition prevalence ranges from 16% to 59.8%.
Objectives: To assess the outcome of weight gain by providing nutritional supplements to the undernourished children along with nutritional counseling.
Materials and Methods: RUTF (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food) and Hyderabad mix with nutritional counselling to parents of children were used to reduce the undernourishment among the under-five children in slums of this ward. Six hundred and fifty malnourished children and their caregivers were provided nutritional supplement and nutritional counselling over 6 months.
Results: There was steady wight gain of enrolled children. Highest weight gain occurred over 13th week of the program.
Conclusion: A minimum of thirteen weeks nutritional supplement program including fortnightly counselling is necessary and sufficient for converting undernourished children to normal.
Key words: Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), malnourishment, counselling, slums, Mumbai
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