Project Details

E.W. "Al" Thrasher

Status: Funded - Open

Towards improved survival of severely malnourished children: developing improved therapeutic feeds

James Berkley, MBBS, MTropMed, M.D., MRCP, FRCPCH


BACKGROUND: Children who have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications or difficulty feeding are usually treated in hospital with milk-based feeds. Initially, a low protein formulation called F75 is used to restart metabolic functions and achieve stabilization. Then, a higher protein and energy milk formulation (F100) or ready-to-use-therapeutic-food (RUTF) is started to achieve catch-up growth.

GAP: The current formulation of F75 contains a high load of lactose and other sugars in order to provide energy. This could theoretically exacerbate intestinal dysfunction, cause diarrhea, and result in electrolyte and metabolic abnormalities known as re-feeding syndrome.

HYPOTHESIS:  A modified formulation of F75 with lower carbohydrate concentrations and no lactose will result in more effective stabilization of severely malnourished children.

METHODS: Children aged 6 to 59 month with SAM who are admitted to three public hospitals in Kenya and Malawi who are eligible to receive F75 will be randomized to standard F75 or modified F75. The allocation of the milks will be blinded to participants and staff. The proportion of children who have stabilized by day 5 will be recorded, along with episodes of diarrhea and other complications.

RESULTS: Pending

IMPACT: The findings may influence the treatment of SAM worldwide.

WEBSITE LINK: http://kemri-wellcome.org/ 

Malnutrition, Treatment, Human, Randomized Clinical Trial

Supervising Institution:
University of Oxford

Project Location:
Kenya, Malawi

Award Amount: