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malnutrition and family planning

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Normal user

24 Sep 2013, 11:59

Dear all,

In the aim to develop reproductive health activities linked with our nutrition programs, i'm currently working on potential links between family planning /birth spacing and reduction of malnutrition.

Thanks to let me know what is your experience about that, or if you know where I can find relevant documents about this topic.

Julien Chalimbaud


Normal user

24 Sep 2013, 15:00

Dear Beatrice,

in a recent nutrition causal analysis in Burkina, we found out that birth spacing was a major issue and an important factor of undernutrition.

For the NCA project we did a review of established links between risk factors and undernutrition. I have one document on the links between birth spacing and undernutrition that I can send you if you email me at

the main conclusion is:
Deciphering the exact link between birth spacing with maternal and child nutrition is difficult due to the many nuances in this pathway. Overall, the scientific literature supports that both short preceding birth intervals (<18 months) and long preceding birth intervals (>60 months) pose risks to child health in the prenatal, neonatal, early post neonatal and post-neonatal stages (Conde-Agudelo et al., 2006; Whitworth, 2002). However, the ways in which birth spacing is defined, the controls used by relevant studies, the pathways of influence and the exact implications for nutrition indicators are all debated amongst researchers.

Wendt et al note that that the majority of published studies are observational and many are of poor quality. There are few prospective studies and randomization is not always possible in the context of birth spacing (Wendt, Gibbs, Peters, & Hogue, 2012). Nonetheless, relevant studies and systematic reviews tend to conclude that short intervals increase preterm birth risk and other poor nutritional outcomes.

Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera

International Medical Corps

Normal user

24 Sep 2013, 18:56

Hello to all,

I am starting a job in an NGO (in Haiti) that fights against acute malnutrition and as the only nutritionist, I would like to ask for your help!

Briefly, three programs have been put in place (for many years):
- latrine project: setting up 50 latrines in villages that do not benefit from nutrition program (only selection criterion). No link is made between this WASH project and malnutrition.
- nutrition project: mobile "clinics" (18 in all) dedicated to the management of acute malnutrition (moderate + severe without complications). This represents approximately 60 children / month.
AND screening (MUAC, weight, height) at home (± 3000 children detected per month by 40 "monitors"). During home-based screening, the "monitors" talk with the mothers and inform them about the importance of home hygiene, dietary diversity, breastfeeding, etc. (education mainly of the type "face-to-face information")
- family planning project: distribution of condoms + contraceptives and setting up, if requested, of an IUD or implants. And educational sessions (targeted group type). No link is made with child malnutrition.

There are still huge organizational gaps as well as in data collection (nothing is computerized), no valid evaluation could be done and prevention / education is not sufficiently present (or not very participatory methods).

Do you have any advice to give me about "starting" a data collection (in excel)? types of indicators to be taken up? before a database can be established within the NGO.
Currently, only the overall prevalence of malnutrition (acute, moderate and acute with complications) by sex in children 6-59 months and the number of vitamins A and albendazole distributed / month is carried out. All other data collected remain on "paper" and are not used.

- Would you have basic formats to share? What do you encode on a daily basis?
- Which database do you use?
- What type of study / research will you advise me to do first in order to have a global view of the nutritional situation?
- No emphasis is placed on chronic malnutrition currently. Do you think it's wise to include Z-score height for age? (knowing that the prevalence of stunting in Haiti is> 20%)
- Do you have experience in empowering mothers in screening for acute malnutrition (with MUAC)?

I thank you in advance for sharing your experiences on the ground!



Normal user

6 Jul 2017, 12:11

Hello everyone
As part of the end of my Master's degree in Human Nutrition, I am developing the theme of my thesis on the issue of family planning and malnutrition, the possible links. This work will take place in Chad. I am joining Béatrice to take advantage of your experience in this field in order to channel the work. For documents that you find useful to send me, please send it to the following mail:

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