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Seasonal Variations of Admission and Survival Status of Children Treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) at Outpatient Therapeutic Program (OTP) in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Background: Approximately 13 (2%) million children within developing countries suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The existing protocol brought SAM management from facility based approach to community based by means of Outpatient Therapeutic Program (OTP). But, little was known about seasonal variations of SAM admission in the program and survival status of children at OTP. Thus, this study aimed to investigate seasonal variations of SAM admission and survival status of children admitted to OTP in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia, 2015.

Methods: A retrospective facility based cross-sectional study was conducted in records of OTP in 2015. Six hundred (600) children represented by their OTP card were included from 16 health posts. Individual children card was selected by cluster sampling. Population Proportion to Size (PPS) allocation was used to assign sample for each selected Woredas and OTP sites in each Woreda. Data were entered, cleaned and analyzed in SPSS version 20.

Results: Seasonal distribution of SAM admission to OTP in Wolaita Zone shows large quantities 242(40.3%) at 95% CI of (36.2, 44.2) admitted in January to April (summer season) of the year. The admissions at September to December (winter season) were 168(28.0%) at 95% CI of (27.8, 35.5) notified as least admission season. At the program, 396(66.0%) at 95% CI of (62.2, 69.8) children survived after complete length of stay. Children survival rate through time was affected in statistically significant figure by type of malnutrition and provision of supportive medications like amoxicillin at 95% confidence level in Log Rank test (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Based on the findings, large extents of children were admitted to the program in summer season of the year in the study area. The survival rate was lower compared to acceptable range of sphere standard. Besides, variables which affect the survival status of children were type of malnutrition and provision of amoxicillin. Therefore, stakeholders of the program should give attention for vulnerable seasons and intervention measures should be taken on factors affecting survival rate.


Mulugeta Yohannis Kabalo, Misrak Mesfin Shanka

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