Bountiful Children's Foundation

2018 Highlights

Jan 3, 2019 | News and Updates | 0 comments

Each month we provide supplements for between 11,000 and 12,000 children. We also provide nutrition for over 1000 pregnant and lactating mothers each month.

We screen children every six months by measuring height and weight. Using WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines, we classify children’s nutritional status as normal, at risk, chronically malnourished, moderate acute (MAM) or severe acute (SAM). Nearly two thirds of the children we evaluate are malnourished, highlighting the need for a program to treat this critical health issue.

Prevalence of malnutrition varies across countries. Haiti, Kiribati and El Salvador are the only countries where fewer than half of the children we evaluate were not malnourished. Acute malnutrition is particularly high in Ghana, Colombia (partially due to refugees from Venezuela), Mongolia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To the extent possible given availability, we provide supplements that are designed for the type of malnutrition children experience.

Children we treated show significant improvement in height for age (stunting), weight for age (underweight) and weight for age (wasting). Improvements in wasting are particularly impressive. .

This graph shows progress of children between their first evaluation (shown across the bottom of the graph) and their status 6 months later (shown in the bars). Over half of the children who were normal at the first evaluation have declined to the point they are malnourished or at risk. Many of the children who were at risk on the first evaluation have slipped into malnutrition. Thus, it is important to reevaluate all children every six months. Children who are chronically malnourished to not experience dramatic improvement in six months. We see gradual improvement, but not enough to move them out of malnutrition. Many of these children are stunted and stunting is slow to change. We now offer nutrition to pregnant and lactating mothers to prevent stunting. It is also important to note that many children get worse as they age, and children in our program do not on average.

 We have the greatest success with acutely malnourished children. A majority of moderately malnourished children have improved after 6 months, and progress is even better for severely malnourished children.

Each of the countries with sufficient data show significant improvements in nutritional status. Improvements are larger in Ecuador and Zimbabwe, and smaller in Bolivia, Madagascar and the Philippines.

 Children are equally divided by gender and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Boys and girls improve at the same rate. LDS Children have slightly higher gains in weight for age and weight-for-height than other children.

Despite this progress, we still have some error in measurement. We need to continue to emphasize the importance of careful measurement.

Attrition rates are unacceptably high. We only rescreen 40 percent of the children who are malnourished at first screening. Hopefully, using the lists created by our app will help encourage coordinators so keep children enrolled in the program.


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