International Journal of
Nutrition and Metabolism

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nutr. Metab.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2332
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNAM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 112

Full Length Research Paper

Treatment outcome of severe acute malnutrition and determinants of survival in Northern Ethiopia: A prospective cohort study

Desalegn Massa
  • Desalegn Massa
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Kifle Woldemichael
  • Kifle Woldemichael
  • Department of Statistics, Alberta University, Canada.
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Birtukan Tsehayneh
  • Birtukan Tsehayneh
  • Department of Population and Family Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Amanuel Tesfay
  • Amanuel Tesfay
  • CIH LMU Center for International Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 23 October 2015
  •  Accepted: 04 April 2016
  •  Published: 30 April 2016


Ethiopia has long history of food insecurity and nutritional problems affecting large proportion of the population caused by successive droughts. Despite of different interventions to tackle the problem there is no explicit data showing treatment outcome of the children generally in Ethiopia and specifically in the study area. Institutional based general prospective cohort study was employed. The respondents were 332 children of 6-59 months age admitted to Outpatient therapeutic program (OTP) providing health facilities and their mothers /caregivers from January-April, 2012. Data was analyzed using SPSS. Kaplan Meir (KM) curve, log rank test and proportional hazards Cox model were performed. The bivariate and adjusted hazard rate and its 95%Confidence interval were estimated. Out of 332 children, 255 children (76.8%) have recovered. Fifty-eight children (17.5%) defaulted from the program. Factors significantly associated with good recovery were children whose mothers travel below 2 hours to the health facility ,male children ,children with baseline WFH of >60% and children from mothers whose age at first marriage is >18 years. Efforts to trace defaulters from OTP should be emphasized and strengthened. To overcome the high length of stay and low weight gain among patients in the OTP, stakeholders need to consider and give emphasis to the identified determinants of the treatment outcomes to achieve fully effective and sustainable program.

Key words: Treatment outcomes, severe acute malnutrition, children, prospective cohort.



DHS, Demographic health survey; DPPC, disaster prevention and preparedness commission; MOH, ministry of health; MUAC, middle upper arm circumference; OTP, outpatient therapeutic feeding program; PEM, protein energy malnutrition; SAM, severe acute malnutrition; SNNPR, south nations and nationalities peoples region; W/H, weight for height measurement; WFP,  World  Food Program.