PERFORMANCE OF THE COMMUNITY BASED MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE MALNUTRITION (CMAM) PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN 6-59 MONTHS OLD IN LILONGWE RURAL, MALAWI

ABSTRACT
Since the inception of the community based management of acute malnutrition in 2006 in
Lilongwe rural the process has not been assesed to gauge its perfomance. The main objective
of this study was to assess the performance of the programme in meeting the programme
internationally set standards. This was achieved by determining the programme coverage,
recovery and death rates. Secondary objectives included determination of strengths and
weaknesses of the programme and the association between nutritional status of the children
and their social economic or demographic characteristics.
A combination of cross sectional and retrospective designs was used with both descriptive and
analytical approaches. A total of 195 households with children aged 6-59 months were
selected. Information on household socio-economic and demographic characteristics and
children’s anthropomentry measurement was collected using pre-tested questionnaires with
the help of trained interviewers. A 24-hour recall period was used for individual dietary
diversity score of the child. The assessment of the nutrition status of children 6-59 months
was used to determine the coverage. Data from the month of August 2011-July 2012 was
collected from health facilities implementing the programme in the study area to determine
recovery and death rates and the adherence to CMAM protocol. Focus group discussions and
key informant interviews were conducted to determine the strengths and the weaknesses of
the programme.
Descriptive summary statistics including frequencies, means, medians and standard deviations
were used to describe the characteristics of study population. Inferential statistics; Fisher’s
Exact, Confidence Interval, P- value, Spearman’s correlations and Logistic regression were
used to determine association between various dependent and independent variables.
Quantitative analysis was used to analyse performance indicators such as coverage, casefatality,
default and recovery rates.
In total, 1012 (50.01% males and 49.9% females) were included in the study. The mean
household size of 5.1 (±1.8) was found. The age dependency ratio was 120.
Stunting was detected in 47.5% of the children, placing the area at high levels of chronic
malnutrition. The findings indicated higher level of wasting ndicated higher level of wasting (7.1%) than reported in Malawi
demographic health survey of 2010 which was 4%.