A Retrospective Descriptive Study of Healthcare Professional’s Adherence to In-Patient Severe Acute Malnutrition Care Guidelines for Children 6-59 Months


World Health Organization (WHO) developed guidelines for in-patient management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children. These SAM management guidelines aim at supporting metabolism, reversing and repairing altered physiological processes that may cause irreversible complications and death.  Up to 90% survival rates are assured with optimal implementation of these guidelines. However, more than 10% of Ghanaian children who suffer from SAM die. The purpose of the study was to assess health professionals’ adherence to in-patient management guidelines for children aged 6-59 months admitted with SAM. We conducted a retrospective review of 75 hospital records of children discharged after treatment for SAM and a descriptive analysis of the data with the aid of SPSS version 20. The findings show that assessment, prevention and treatment of SAM related health problems are partially aligned with WHO recommended guidelines. 88% of patients were treated for presumed infections. Over 97% of patients were given therapeutic diets (F-75), and 90.7% of patients were assessed for dehydration. However, only one (1.3%) of the children checked their blood glucose levels on admission. None 0(0%) of the children were given 10% IV glucose to prevent hypoglycaemia on admission, and only 21.2% of patients with dehydration received the recommended ReSoMal. There is inadequate adherence to the recommended guidelines for the in-patient management of children with SAM. The latter requires exploring explanations to inform strategies that promote compliance.

Keywords: Severe acute malnutrition; children; in-patients; guidelines; adherence

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37745/ijnmh.15/vol8n35868

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 58-68 (Download PDF)

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