To assess the impact of the Infant and Young Child nutrition programme, providing complementary feeding using micronutrient fortified blended food, on anaemia reduction.Specifically :measure the prevalence of anemia in children aged 6-59 investigate IYCN practices among children aged 0-23 months.
Two cross sectional surveys were conducted with three years interval. A simple random sampling strategy was applied to provide statistically representative and precise information at camp. 1431 children 0-59 months and 967 women aged 15-49 years from 1048 households were assessed.
The proportion of children 6-59 months old with anemia reduced by an average of 17.0% across 3 camps from 49.5% in 2012 to 32.5% in 2015 which is a reduction from a severe to moderate public health problem according to WHO classifications. Mean hemoglobin concentration improved by an average of 0.6 g/dL. The overall proportion of refugee children 6-23 who consumed iron rich foods increased almost five-fold from 7.3% in 2012 to 35.5% in 2015. Of the 35.5% of children who consumed any iron rich or fortified food, 99% was attributable to consumption of fortified blended food (CSB+ and CSB++), products that were introduced in the refugee camps in 2013. In 2012, a non-anemic child was 1.1 times more likely to have consumed iron rich or fortified foods in the past 24 hours while the odds increased to 1.3 in 2015 (p<0.05).
Consumption of CSB++ improved anaemia rates since the 2012 SENS among all age groups of children, with statistically significant difference in Kiziba and Nyabiheke. Causes of anemia in children is limited access to fresh foods such as animal source foods, fruits and vegetables. Consumption of iron-rich foods among children 6-23 months did not exceed 44% in any camp.