Unconditional Cash Transfers Do Not Prevent Children's Undernutrition in the Moderate Acute Malnutrition Out (MAM'Out) Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Burkina Faso

Freddy Houngbe, Audrey Tonguet-Papucci, Chiara Altare, Myriam Ait-Aissa, Jean-François Huneau, Lieven Huybregts, Patrick Kolsteren
2017 Journal of Nutrition  
☯ These authors contributed equally to this work. Corresponding author: Freddy Houngbe, fhoungbe@actioncontrelafaim.org Action Contre la Faim -14/16 Boulevard Douaumont -CS 80060 -75854 PARIS CEDEX 17 Phone: +1 514 217 0302  List of authors' last names: Houngbe, Tonguet-Papucci, Altare, Ait-Aissa, Huneau, Huybregts, Kolsteren  Word count from abstract to end of references, including tables: 5750  Number of figures: 1  Number of tables: 3  OSM submitted: none  Running title of 50 or fewer
more » ... tle of 50 or fewer characters and spaces: Seasonal unconditional cash transfers and children's nutritional status and morbidity  Source of financial support: The MAM'Out study was funded by Action Contre la Faim France and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. The cash transfer program was funded by ECHO. The MAM'Out project also received financial contributions from ECHO (European Union), USAID (through the Technical Operational Performance Support program, USA) and Fondation Recherche d'Action Contre la Faim (France) for research uptake and the dissemination of results. Lieven Huybregts received funding from the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute.  Conflict of interest and funding disclosure: FH, ATP, CA and MAA are employed by Action Contre la Faim France, who implemented the MAM'Out study. JFH, LH and PK do not have any conflict of interest. Abstract 1 Background: Limited evidence is available on the impact unconditional cash transfer 2 programs can have on child nutrition, particularly in West Africa where child undernutrition is 3 still a public health challenge. 4 Objective: This study examined the impact of a multiannual seasonal unconditional cash 5 transfer program to reduce the occurrence of wasting (weight-for-height, mid upper arm 6 circumference), stunting (height-for-age) and morbidity among children under 36 months old 7 in Tapoa Province, Eastern region of Burkina Faso. 8 Methods: The study was designed as a two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial, with 32 9 villages randomly assigned to either the intervention or control group. The study population 10 consisted of households classified as poor or very poor according to household economy 11 approach criteria and having at least one child under one-year of age at inclusion. The 12 intervention consisted of seasonal unconditional cash transfers, provided monthly from July 13 to November, over two years (2013 and 2014). A monthly allowance of 10,000 XOF 14 (≈US$17) was given by mobile phone to mothers in participating households. Anthropometric 15 measurements and morbidity were recorded on quarterly basis. 16 Results: We found no evidence that multiannual seasonal unconditional cash transfers 17 reduced the cumulative incidence of wasting among young children (incidence rate ratio: 18 0.92, 95% CI: 0.64, 1.32; p=0.66). We observed no significant difference (p>0.05) in 19 children's anthropometric measurements and stunting at end point, between the two groups. 20 However, children in the intervention group had a lower risk (21%, 95%CI: 3.20, 34.2; 21 p=0.02) of self-reported respiratory tract infections compared to children in the control group. 22 Conclusion: We found that seasonal unconditional cash transfers in the framework of safety 23 nets did not result in a significant decrease in the incidence of child acute malnutrition in 24 Tapoa Province. Cash transfers combined with complementary interventions targeted on 25 4 child nutrition and health should be further investigated. This trial was registered at 26 clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01866124. 27 Key words 28 Seasonal unconditional cash transfers, children, Burkina Faso, nutritional status, morbidity 29 30
doi:10.3945/jn.117.247858 pmid:28539413 fatcat:ues75zn23vbqff4i74sosbtmmy