Operational Research in Nutrition
Malnutrition is one of the main killers of infants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is estimated that nearly one in five children will not live to their fifth birthday, or an infant and young-child mortality rate of 199 for every 1,000 live births. Malnutrition, the lack of access to health care and the prevalence of certain killer diseases such as malaria very often lie behind the tragedy of this figure.
Using an innovative process, Alima wants to increase the understanding of children’s medical and nutritional profiles so as to improve access to health care.
- The distribution of ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSFs) like Plumpy Doz® for children between 6 and 23 months is still new in the DRC. In 2011, the WFP asked Alima to write a practical guide on the distribution of RUSFs in the DRC and to carry out assessments in priority areas so as to determine the target population, the most opportune moment of the year for food distribution and the methodology for registration and distribution
With Unicef and the WFP’s support Alima is implementing the following activities in the Lomela health area alongside its malnutrition therapy and prevention programs:
- A feasibility study for asking mothers to screen their children for malnutrition using MUAC
- An investigation into the acceptance and use of Plumpy Doz® in households
- Two SMART surveys to document the nutritional state of children under five and their mortality rate