Clinical Studies

Clinical study at Arua Regional Referral Hospital- 2012

Most common porridge meals in Uganda are cereal-based and cooking them involves using water. This process results in gelatinization which makes the food soft and easy to digest. Enzyme-active malts, when added during cooking, have the ability to digest the carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and phytate present in these porridges.

A total of 74 children, aged 5-48 months, were included in this clinical trial analysis. The children who were fed on Power Flour porridge were generally younger, shorter, and weighed less than those fed on Plumpy’nut. About 96% of these children had kwashiorkor. At the start of the clinical trial, the mean weight of boys and girls was not significantly different. Generally, regardless of the type of flour fed to the children, a significant increase in the children’s weight was observed.

Weight measurements taken after 7 and 14 days did not show a significant change in the weight of those fed on the Power flour porridge. However, a significant change was observed during the third week (after 21 days). There was also no significant change in the weights of children fed on Plumpy'nut, even after the third and fourth weeks. After 30 days, there was an increase in weight of children on either flour; however, the average weight increase between the two types of flour was not significantly different. Feeding children on either type of flour did not cause a great difference in their heights. A significant effect was observed during the fourth week for MUAC. Unlike with Plumpy’nut which shows fast effects, the effect of Power flour porridge on MUAC increases gradually. The rate of change caused by the two feed types, right from the first week, was not significant.Power porridge and Plumpy’nut were considered to have considerably similar efficacy in the management of children suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition. The changes in attributes of children enrolled for the clinical trials and fed on either Power porridge or Plumpy’nut, were not significantly different. But, during the third week of the therapy treatment, there was a significant weight gain among children fed on Power porridge. Within a period of 30 days, Power porridge does not significantly contribute to an increase in height of malnourished children. The effect of Power porridge on MUAC increases with time, and was observed after the fourth week of treatment. Power porridge was found to have a great impact on the BMI of malnourished children after 14 days of administration. Using Power porridge in a clinical setting, to manage and treat malnourished children aged 6-59 months is feasible and can serve as an alternative to Plumpy’nut. Discharge of patients on Power porridge is possible, with no complications or mortality, after 30 days.