Aim: As there is lack of information about what happens to children after recovery from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), we report their relapse, morbidity, mortality and referral during follow-up period.
Methods: From February 2001 to November 2003, 180 children completing acute and nutrition rehabilitation (NR) phases of protocolized management were advised for 6-months follow-up. The mean (SD) age was 12 (5) months, 55% were infants, 53% were male and 68% were breast-fed.
Results: The follow-up compliance rate dropped from 91% at first to 49% at tenth visit. The common morbidities following discharge included fever (26%), cough (24%) and diarrhoea (20%). Successful follow-up done in 124 children [68.9% (95% CI 61.8-75.2%)], partial follow-up in 45 [25% (95% CI 19.2-31.8%)], relapse in 32 [17.8% (95% CI 12.9-24%)] and 5 [2.8% (95% CI 1.2-6.3%)] died.
Conclusion: Our findings highlight need for follow-up as part of overall management of SAM and recommend an effective community follow-up.