Home-based therapy with ready-to-use therapeutic food is of benefit to malnourished, HIV-infected Malawian children
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2007
Volume 94, Issue 2, pages 222–225, February 2005
How to Cite
Ndekha, M., Manary, M., Ashorn, P. and Briend, A. (2005), Home-based therapy with ready-to-use therapeutic food is of benefit to malnourished, HIV-infected Malawian children. Acta Paediatrica, 94: 222–225. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2005.tb01895.x
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2007
- Received 14 January 2004; Revised 17 May 2004; Accepted 17 June 2004
- Ready-to-use therapeutic food;
Aim: To determine if home-based nutritional therapy will benefit a significant fraction of malnourished, HIV-infected Malawian children, and to determine if ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is more effective in home-based nutritional therapy than traditional foods. Methods: 93 HIV-positive children >1 y old discharged from the nutrition unit in Blantyre, Malawi were systematically allocated to one of three dietary regimens: RUTF, RUTF supplement or blended maize/soy flour. RUTF and maize/soy flour provided 730 kJ·kg−1·d−1, while the RUTF supplement provided a fixed amount of energy, 2100 kJ/d. These children did not receive antiretroviral chemotherapy. Children were followed fortnightly. Children completed the study when they reached 100% weight-for-height, relapsed or died. Outcomes were compared using regression modeling to account for differences in the severity of malnutrition between the dietary groups. Results: 52/93 (56%) of all children reached 100% weight-for-height. Regression modeling found that the children receiving RUTF gained weight more rapidly and were more likely to reach 100% weight-for-height than the other two dietary groups (p<0.05).
Conclusion: More than half of malnourished, HIV-infected children not receiving antiretroviral chemotherapy benefit from home-based nutritional rehabilitation. Home-based therapy RUTF is associated with more rapid weight gain and a higher likelihood of reaching 100% weight-for-height.