New model for treating malnutrition during famine

August 09, 2001

N.B. Please note that if you are outside North America, the embargo for Lancet Press Material is 0001 hours UK time Friday 10th august 2001.

A Viewpoint article by Steve Collins in this week's issue of THE LANCET proposes an alternative approach to tackling malnutrition during famine in less-developed countries. Having spent the past decade in famine-struck areas of Africa, he believes that a community-based strategy-which he argues provides greater coverage at reduced cost without undermining local health-care infrastructure-offers greater benefit than existing therapeutic feeding centres.

Steve Collins comments: "Including a community-based therapeutic care component in famine relief programmes offers many potential advantages. Community-based therapeutic care is likely to improve coverage of therapeutic programmes and provide socioeconomic and educational benefits for the families of malnourished people. The improved coverage should increase the numbers of severely malnourished people treated, thereby reducing overall death rates from starvation. The community-based and outpatient nature of community-based therapeutic care would reduce the negative effects of attendance at therapeutic feeding centres on families and communities. Taken as a whole, the combination of all these separate benefits should create a synergy to increase substantially the overall impact of therapeutic programmes."
-end-
Contact: Steve Collins, c/o Alistair Hallam, 3 Kames Close, Oxford, OX4 3LD, UK; T) 44-1865-395810; F) 44-709-239-7830; E) alistair@validinternational.org

Lancet

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