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Acceptability and effectiveness of chickpea sesame-based ready-to-use therapeutic food in malnourished HIV-positive adults

Authors Bahwere P, Sadler K, Collins S

Published 18 March 2009 Volume 2009:3 Pages 67—75


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 1

Paluku Bahwere, Kate Sadler, Steve Collins

Valid International, Oxford, United Kingdom

Objective: A prospective descriptive study to assess acceptability and effectiveness of a locally made ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) in HIV-infected chronically sick adults (CSA) with mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) <210 mm or pitting edema.

Methods: Sixty-three wasted AIDS adults were prescribed 500 g representing ~2600 kcal/day of locally made RUTF for three months and routine cotrimoxazole. Weight, height, MUAC, Karnofsky score and morbidity were measured at admission and at monthly intervals. The amount of RUTF intake and acceptability were assessed monthly.

Results: Ninety-five percent (60/63) of the CSA that were invited to join the study agreed to participate. Mean daily intake in these 60 patients was 300 g/person/day (~1590 Kcal and 40 g of protein). Overall, 73.3% (44/60) gained weight, BMI, and MUAC. The median weight, MUAC and BMI gains after three months were 3.0 kg, 25.4 mm, and 1.1 kg/m2, respectively. The intervention improved the physical activity performance of participants and 78.3% (47/60) regained sufficient strength to walk to the nearest health facility. Mortality at three months was 18.3% (11/60).

Conclusion: Locally made RUTF was acceptable to patients and was associated with a rapid weight gain and physical activity performance. The intervention is likely to be more cost effective than nutritional support using usual food-aid commodities.

Keywords: ready-to-use therapeutic food, community-based intervention, adult, supplementation, HIV, Malawi

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