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To compare an improved corn–soya blend (CSB+) with a ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) to test the hypothesis that satisfactory recovery rate will be achieved with CSB+ or RUSF when these foods provide 50 % of the child’s energy requirement, the 50 % remaining coming from usual diet.
A comparative efficacy trial study was conducted with moderately wasted children, using a controlled randomized design, with parallel assignment for RUSF or CSB+. Every child received a daily ration of 167 kJ (40 kcal)/kg body weight during 56 d with a follow-up performed every 14 d. Every caregiver received nutrition counselling at enrolment and at each follow-up visit.
Health districts of Mvog-Beti and Evodoula in the Centre region of Cameroon.
Eight hundred and thirty-three children aged 6–59 months were screened and eighty-one malnourished children (weight-for-height Z-score between −3 and −2) aged 25–59 months were selected.
Of children treated with CSB+ and RUSF, 73 % (95 % CI 59 %, 87 %) and 85 % (95 % CI 73 %, 97 %), respectively, recovered from moderate acute malnutrition, with no significant difference between groups. The mean duration of treatment required to achieve recovery was 44 d in the RUSF group and 51 d in the CSB+ group (log-rank test, P=0·0048).
There was no significant difference in recovery rate between the groups. Both CSB+ and RUSF were relatively successful for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children. Despite the relatively low ration size provided, the recovery rates observed for both groups were comparable to or higher than those reported in previous studies, a probable effect of nutrition education.
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