MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS LESS THAN SIX MONTHS WITH SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION (SAM).
Objectives: To determine the average weight gain after lactation counseling therapy in infants up to six months of age having severe acute malnutrition. Study Design: Quasi experimental trial. Setting: Stabilization Center Unit, the Children’s Hospital & the Institute of Child Health, Multan. Period: 1st October 2015 to 1st October 2016. Material & Methods: A total of 205 children with SAM were included in this study using non-probability consecutive sampling technique. Mothers of these children were motivated for more than 8 feeds/day, positioning and attachment at breast feeding was advised, demonstrated and monitored. All the data obtained was entered and analyzed by SPSS version 20. Results: Of these 205 study cases, 142 (69.3%) were boys and 63 (30.75) were girls. Mean age of our study cases was 3.75 ± 1.39 months (with minimum age of our study cases was 2 months while maximum age was 6 months). Of these 205 study cases, 101 (49.3 %) were from rural areas while 104 (50.7%) were from urban areas. Mothers of 117 (57.1%) study cases were literate while 88 (42.9%) were illiterate. Majority of our study cases i.e. 129 (62.9%) were from middle income background and 76 (37.1%) were from poor social background. Partial breast feeding was positive in 145 (70.7%) of our study cases and no breast feeding was noted in 60 (29.3%). Mean baseline weight was 2737.07± 585.60 grams. Mean weight at discharge was 2995.37 ± 621.97 grams and mean weight gain was 800.0 ± 258. 29 grams. Average daily weight gain was noted to be 11.27 ± 4.73 g/kg/day. Conclusion: Our study results have shown that lactation counseling therapy significantly improves weight gain in children under 6 months of age with severe acute malnutrition. Mothers of infants presenting with malnutrition must be counselled to breast feed to improve their clinical outcomes. Mean weight gain was significantly associated with maternal education and socioeconomic status. Further studies are suggested from different parts of the country to generate our local data at national level which may be incorporated for national health policy guidelines.