Nutritional education during rehabilitation of children 6-24 months with acute malnutrition, under unavailability of therapeutic/supplementary foods: a retrospective study in rural Angola.

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Dietary counseling can play an important role in managing child malnutrition but is often inadequate or absent. Moreover, little emphasis is given to the usefulness of local available foods in the rehabilitation of malnourished children. This study aimed to evaluate the adherence and effectiveness of nutritional education during rehabilitation of children (6-24 months) with acute malnutrition, in a setting of unavailability of therapeutic/supplementary foods.Retrospective observational study on the adherence to dietary counseling and the impact on growth in children 6-24 months who were referred for acute malnutrition at the Catholic Mission Hospital of Chiulo (Angola) from August 2018 to January 2019. Main outcome measures were change in dietary habits and growth gain.Sixty-four out of 120 children returned at first follow-up visit (default rate 47%). A change in dietary habits was reported in 32/64 (50%) children. Changing dietary habits was associated with an improved change in weight gain (MD 9.3 g/kg/day, 95%CI 4.2 to 14.3; p = 0.0005) and in weight/height ratio (MD 1.1 SD, 95%CI 0.7 to 1.4; p 

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Authors: Andrea Pietravalle, Martina Scilipoti, Francesco Cavallin, Magda Lonardi, Ivo Makonga Tshikamb, Claudia Robbiati, Daniele Trevisanuto, Giovanni Putoto