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Bangladesh Using Home-Based Program To Treat Childhood Malnutrition

Inter Press Service examines how a program developed by the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) is working to promote the treatment of “children with severe acute malnutrition … at home with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) made from locally available ingredients.” The news service continues, “Except in cases of unforeseen medical complications, this practice virtually eliminates the need for a potentially life-threatening journey from the home to the hospital,” and it notes that “icddr,b scientists found that treating children at home or within the community with RUTF reduced the case-fatality rate by up to 55 percent, and was effective on all children over the age of six months.” According to IPS, “While the case fatality rate in hospitals treating the condition is still as high as 20 to 30 percent, communities with knowledge of how to manage the problem have brought the fatality rate down to just five percent” (Haq, 3/20).