Malnutrition in all its forms remains one of the most serious and neglected health problems. Benin is facing many challenges; the most important ones are to ensure food production and food and nutrition security for its 10 million people. The present study aimed at (i) assessing the determinants of the consumption of foods containing the moringa leaf powder and baobab fruit pulp by children in Benin and (ii) testing the effect of the consumption of sorghum porridge fortified with moringa leaf powder (MLP) and baobab fruit pulp (BFP) on the nutritional status of children aged 6 to 59 months in northern Benin. Indeed, a focus group discussion was carried out among mothers to assess the determinants of the consumption of food containing moringa leaf powder and baobab fruit pulp such as economic and physical determinants whereas knowledge, attitudes and practices survey was conducted to get information related to mother’s knowledge, practices and perceptions about MLP and BFP in the three biogeographic zones of Benin. Then a nutritional intervention was performed in the northern Benin among children aged 6 to 59 months with fruste and moderate acute malnutrition. The case group consumed daily 400g of sorghum porridge fortified with 10g of MLP and 5g of BFP in the nutritional rehabilitation hearth for two weeks whereas the control group consumed common foods from the study area. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as age were taken. Results from the study showed that MLP and BFP were more available, accessible and more consumed in the Sudanian zone than in the others. In addition, mothers have high level of knowledge in terms of nutritional and medicinal importance about the two resources. As for the intervention, the daily consumption of the food formula by children for two weeks improved significantly the children weight at the end of the trial but did not improve significantly their z-score. The average weight gain and recovery rate were respectively 9.85 g/kg/day and 62.50%. Therefore it can be concluded that the sorghum porridge fortified with MLP and BFP may contribute to fight against children malnutrition in Benin.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Agris Subject Categories:
RUFORUM (Grant No. RU 2015 GRG-135)
Joseph Hounhouigan; Flora Chadare