Comparison of the effects of supplementing diets of Protein Energy malnourished children at Mbooni family life training centre with milk-yellow Maize Porridge or Tempe-yellow Maize Porridge

A prospective case control study, (a clinical trial type and interventional in nature) was carried out at Mbooni Family Life Training Centre. Effects on weight gain, growth rate, diarrhoea experience and rehabilitation period of supplementing the diets of Protein Energy Malnourished children (PEM children) with either bean-tempe yellow maize porridge or milk-yellow maize porridge were studied. Using time based-quota sampling procedure a sample of 117 children, 5-60 months old who suffered from protein energy malnutrition was selected from all PEM children who were referred to Mbooni Family Life Training Centre between November 1992 and April 1993 . These children were studied serially. The children were discharged after they gained ~ 300 grammes or after 26 days of stay if they failed to attain the weight. The results of the investigation showed that PEM children whose diets were supplemented with tempe yellow maize porridge (TYMP group) achieved a significantly higher growth rate ( 5.2 g/kg/body weight/day) than did that of PEM children whose diet was supplemented with milk-yellow maize porridge (MYMP group) which was 2.2 g (P<0.05). Further, the children in the TYMP group experienced significantly shorter duration of diarrhoea 0.7 days than did those in the MYMP group 4.6 days (P < 0.05). Consequently, the rehabilitation period of the TYMP group was significantly much shorter, 15 days, than that of those in the MYMP group, 20 days, (P < 0.05). The daily cost of tempe-yellow maize porridge (KSh. 110) was slightly, though not significantly, higher than the cost of milk-yellow maize porridge (Ksh.103). The additional rehabilitation period (five days) for the MYMP group however raised the group's cost by 25 %.