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Bells Corners, Canada

The selection of food vehicles and fortification levels in food fortification programs may be made on the assumption of equitable intrahousehold distribution of food. There are concerns that biased intrahousehold distribution of food will make food-based interventions ineffective or unsafe. To review available data documenting intrahousehold energy intake (as a proxy for food distribution) in low- and middle-income countries, and discuss the relevance for food fortification programs. A literature search was done, selecting reports from low- and middle-income countries that included dietary data from adults and children. The references of relevant reports and all citations of relevant reports were scanned. Intrahousehold distribution of dietary energy was compared with individual energy requirements. Twenty-eight studies were identified covering 18 countries with as few as 20 and as many as 3,000 households per study. Intrahousehold distribution of food in most countries is relatively equitable, within a 20% margin. Within the limits of the available data, and in the absence of contrary data, it is reasonable to assume equitable intrahousehold distribution of food when designing food fortification programs; however, for program evaluation, individual assessment of intake is still needed. Source

Berti P.R.,HealthBridge | Mildon A.,World Vision | Siekmans K.,World Vision | Main B.,World Vision | MacDonald C.,World Vision
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2010

Background: Evaluations of large-scale health and nutrition programmes in developing countries are needed for determining the effectiveness of interventions. This article critically analyses a non-governmental organization (NGO)-led large-scale, multi-country, 10-year micronutrient and health (MICAH) programme with an 'adequacy evaluation', that is, a documentation of time trends in the expected direction. Methods: MICAH was implemented from 1996 to 2005 in selected areas of Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania, reaching>6 million people with numerous health and nutrition interventions. Coverage and impact were monitored through surveys at baseline, midpoint and end of funding. The data were subjected to post-hoc methods of quality determination, and, if of suitable quality, included in the adequacy evaluation. Results: Most collected data were of moderate or high quality and therefore included in the adequacy evaluation. There were moderate to large improvements in vitamin A status in Ethiopian school-age children, children <5 years of age in Tanzania and Ghana and mothers in Ghana. Iodine status improved in Malawi and Tanzania. Anaemia rates and malaria prevalence decreased in women, pregnant women and pre-school children in Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania, but anaemia increased in Ethiopian women. Large increases were reported for rates of exclusive breastfeeding and immunization. Child growth improved to the maximum that would be predicted with the given interventions. Conclusions: Numerous nutrition and health impacts were observed in the intervention areas, often of a magnitude equal to or larger than observed in controlled interventions or trials. These results show the value of integrated long-term interventions. © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association. The Author 2010; all rights reserved. Source

Siekmans K.,HealthBridge | Receveur O.,University of Montreal | Haddad S.,University of Montreal
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Addressing the complex, multi-factorial causes of childhood anaemia is best done through integrated packages of interventions. We hypothesized that due to reduced child vulnerability, a "buffering" of risk associated with known causes of anaemia would be observed among children living in areas benefiting from a community-based health and nutrition program intervention. Cross-sectional data on the nutrition and health status of children 24-59 mo (N = 2405) were obtained in 2000 and 2004 from program evaluation surveys in Ghana, Malawi and Tanzania. Linear regression models estimated the association between haemoglobin and immediate, underlying and basic causes of child anaemia and variation in this association between years. Lower haemoglobin levels were observed in children assessed in 2000 compared to 2004 (difference -3.30 g/L), children from Tanzania (-9.15 g/L) and Malawi (-2.96 g/L) compared to Ghana, and the youngest (24-35 mo) compared to oldest age group (48-59 mo; -5.43 g/L). Children who were stunted, malaria positive and recently ill also had lower haemoglobin, independent of age, sex and other underlying and basic causes of anaemia. Despite ongoing morbidity, risk of lower haemoglobin decreased for children with malaria and recent illness, suggesting decreased vulnerability to their anaemia-producing effects. Stunting remained an independent and unbuffered risk factor. Reducing chronic undernutrition is required in order to further reduce child vulnerability and ensure maximum impact of anaemia control programs. Buffering the impact of child morbidity on haemoglobin levels, including malaria, may be achieved in certain settings. © 2014 Siekmans et al. Source

Kisia J.,Red Cross | Nelima F.,University of Nairobi | Otieno D.O.,Red Cross | Kiilu K.,Red Cross | And 5 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2012

Background: The success of community case management in improving access to effective malaria treatment for young children relies on broad utilization of community health workers (CHWs) to diagnose and treat fever cases. A better understanding of the factors associated with CHW utilization is crucial in informing national malaria control policy and strategy in Kenya. Specifically, little is known in Kenya on the extent to which CHWs are utilized, the characteristics of families who report utilizing CHWs and whether utilization is associated with improved access to prompt and effective malaria treatment. This paper examines factors associated with utilization of CHWs in improving access to malaria treatment among children under five years of age by women caregivers in two malaria endemic districts in Kenya. Methods. This study was conducted in 113 hard-to-reach and poor villages in Malindi and Lamu districts in the coastal region classified as having endemic transmission of malaria. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted using a standardized malaria indicator questionnaire at baseline (n=1,187) and one year later at endline assessment (n=1,374) using two-stage cluster sampling. Results: There was an increase in reported utilization of CHWs as source of advice/treatment for child fevers from 2% at baseline to 35% at endline, accompanied by a decline in care-seeking from government facilities (from 67% to 48%) and other sources (26% to 2%) including shops. The most poor households and poor households reported higher utilization of CHWs at 39.4% and 37.9% respectively, compared to the least poor households (17.0%). Households in villages with less than 200 households reported higher CHWs utilization as compared to households in villages having >200 households. Prompt access to timely and effective treatment was 5.7 times higher (95% CI 3.4-9.7) when CHWs were the source of care sought. Adherence was high regardless of whether source was CHWs (73.1%) or public health facility (66.7%). Conclusions: The potential for utilization of CHWs in improving access to malaria treatment at the community level is promising. This will not only enhance access to treatment by the poorest households but also provide early and appropriate treatment to vulnerable individuals, especially those living in hard to reach areas. © 2012 Kisia et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Berti P.R.,HealthBridge | Jones A.D.,Cornell University | Cruz Y.,World Neighbors Bolivia | Larrea S.,World Neighbors Bolivia | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Human Biology | Year: 2010

Objectives: The goal of this research is to characterize the composition and nutrient adequacy of the diets in the northern region of the Department of Potosí, Bolivia. Communities in this semiarid, mountainous region are isolated and impoverished having the highest rates of child malnutrition and under-five mortality in the Americas. Methods: A total of 2,222 twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were conducted in 30 communities during May and November 2006 and May and November 2007. Food composition data were compiled from diverse published sources and integrated with the recall data to estimate intakes of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and seven micronutrients. Diets were characterized in terms of food sources, seasonality, and nutrient adequacy. Results: The diet relies heavily on the potato and other tubers (54% of dietary energy) and grains (30% of dietary energy). Although crop production is seasonal, off-season consumption of chuño helps to minimize seasonal fluctuations in dietary energy intake. Despite relative monotony, intakes of iron, vitamin C, most B vitamins, and vitamin A in adults are probably adequate; riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin A intakes in children are low. Nevertheless, extremely low dietary fat intakes (approximately 3-9% of dietary energy from fat) likely prevent adequate absorption of fat-soluble vitamins as well as lead to deficiencies of essential fatty acids. Conclusions: Dietary inadequacies, especially of fats, may explain much of the poor health observed in northern Potosí. An improved diet may be possible through increasing production and intake of local fat-rich food sources such as small animals. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

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