The role of prevention and curative treatment in the elimination of malnutrition: a retrospective study based on the MSF program against malnutrition in GUIDAM ROUMDJI NIGER Republic.

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art048

Authors : Hippolyte Ten, Pascal Nji Atanga


This study is a retrospective description of the phenomenon of malnutrition in the district of Guidam Roumdji in the Maradi Region of Niger Republic, and a quantitative as well as qualitative analysis of the impact of a malnutrition program ran by the international medical organization Medicines Sans Frontieres within the same area and timeframe. Niger republic is an Islamic country in the Sahel region of West Africa with a prolonged history of famine and nutritional crisis over the past 25 years. From January to December 2012, a population of 2987 cured children aged 6-59 months and without sex differentiation was discharged from the ambulatory therapeutic feeding center. A sample of 520 of them was used to estimate the average weight gain (AWG) and average length of stay (ALS), the two most important indicators of program success. Observations included a cure rate of over 86.9%, 0.8% death rate, 4.5% default, 3.8% transfer and 4.0% non-respondents. Results also revealed an AWG of 6.4 g/kg/day and an ALS of 33.14 days and both were far above expectations thus confirming the effectiveness of the program. Using a z-test under 5% significance rate and considering a one tail side confidence interval, the sample AWG and ALS were found not to be significantly different from their population counterpart, thus in support of an effective program performance at the population level. A further qualitative analysis of the causes of defaulting implicate the low societal status occupied by the women leading to the conclusion that women empowerment in Niger will help improve compliance to treatment and maximize the overall outcome of such program. In conclusion achieving prevention lies on empowering the women while curative treatment is the responsibility of the well-established medical programs ran under government scrutiny.


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