Background Ready-to-use supplementary foods are high-energy, lipid-based provide energy, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to treat acute malnutrition in children aged 6 -59 months.
Aim To evaluate the effect of ready-to-use supplement foods on the outpatient management of children with acute malnutrition.
Methods A prospective appropriate study was carried out on children with acute malnutrition who were referred to the nutritional rehabilitation center at Basra Teaching Hospital; were received ready-to- use supplementary foods at a quantity sufficient to meet their nutrient requirements for full catch- up growth and followed at two subsequent visits
Results Moderate wasting and underweight recorded in (66.7 %) and severe wasting in (33.33%) of the patients. Mean weight gain at the first and second follow-up visit was (5.78 ±2.43) and (6.52 ±2.75) g/kg/day respectively. There was a significant improvement in the weight for height Z score at the first and second follow-up visits after the administration of ready-to-use supplementary foods (P value < 0.05). Approximately 32% of the children aged 12-18-month experienced moderate weight gain. Bottle feeding with complementary feeding was reported in 24.19% of the children with moderate weight gain, and 9.52% and 34.68% of the children of illiterate parents and unemployed fathers respectively, showed moderate weight gain. Children belong to families with low income group accounted for 37.09% of those with moderate weight gain. Family income was the only variable that depend on the weight gain results (P value < 0.05). Conclusion: Ready-to-use supplementary food is significantly effective for outpatient management of acute malnutrition.
Key words: Acute Malnutrition, Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food, Outpatients