"As a nutritionist I have had the opportunity to observe the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in therapeutic feeding centers (TFC) and major advances in the management of malnutrition from 2000 until today. At that time the protocol included three phases of treatment and more than one month of hospitalization in the center. With the introduction of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) the door to an outpatient treatment for cases where there are no serious diseases associated with malnutrition was opened.
In TFC, the nutritionists were analyzing monthly statistics: discharge, defaults and deaths rates, we also studied the average length of stay in the center, the causes of default, the reason for the deaths, major pathologies, the origin of admissions, etc.
The application of new protocols for Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) has had an increase in coverage of beneficiaries, especially in the early stage of the disease, as well as a reduction in the case of abandonment by reducing the average stay in the center. For analysis of the data referred to in the preceding paragraph, the current research methods in coverage (SQUEAC), have shifted the focus off the field in search of answers to the hypotheses about the causes that limited or favored the treatment of a larger number of cases in management programs of acute malnutrition.
During the first two weeks of May, I participated in a coverage study program in Bogandé health district, in the province of Gangna, Eastern region of Burkina Faso. This experience has allowed me to apply in practice the theoretical training I had received from Saul Guerrero and to understand the value of this methodology. Beyond enabling research and knowing the barriers and booster affecting the coverage, two facts seem relevant of SQUEAC methodology: i) the involvement of teams in knowledge of the constraints and enabling factors of their project and ii) active participation of communities in understanding these limitations and the benefits.
To conclude, I am grateful to CMN team for facilitating my participation in this study and I am pleased to continue learning and realizing that with the collaboration of all; teams, communities and researchers, malnutrition has a solution."
Montse Escruela, Health and Nutrition Advisor for ACF Spain, who recently jointed a SQUEAC training with our Regional Coordinator Ines Zuza in Burkina Faso.