Efficacy of sorghum peanut blend and corn soy blend plus in the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children aged 6–59 months in Karamoja, Uganda: a cluster randomized trial
Ochola, S. A.
Amegovu, A. K.
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More than half of the world's deaths in children below 5 years of age are caused by under nutrition. Early management of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) is necessary to avoid deterioration to severe acute malnutrition. Corn soy blend plus (CSB+) mixed with vegetable oil and sugar is the traditional treatment for MAM but is too expensive for poor countries. The effectiveness of affordable and available local food materials are currently being studied as alternative food supplements to treat malnutrition. In this trial, the efficacy of sorghum peanut blend (SPB) mixed with ghee and honey for the treatment of MAM was compared to that of CSB+ among children 6–59 months old in Karamoja, Uganda. This was a single-blind randomized parallel trial in which two health centers were assigned on a 1:1 ratio to the two study groups. The participants (mothers and their moderately malnourished children) were recruited at the health centers and assigned to the groups depending on the health facility attended. Each child received a daily ration of either CSB+ or SPB for a maximum period of 3 months. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken on a bi-weekly basis. The primary outcomes were the recovery rate and duration on the program before recovery. Of the recruited 440 participants, 392 completed the study and were included in the analysis (SPB group 194; CSB+ group 198). Analysis was by intention to treat. The recovery rates were not significantly different for the SPB group and the CSB+ group (82.3% and 76.8%, respectively; chi-square test P=0.093). Duration of recovery was significantly shorter for the SPB+ group, with a median of 43 days compared to 57 days for the SPB group (Kaplan–Meier survival test). The recovery rate and the duration of stay in the program were all within the acceptable Sphere Standards (≥75% and ≤90 days, respectively). SPB has the potential to treat MAM.