Abstract Digest on Maternal and Child Nutrition Research – Issue 20

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This issue of Abstract Digest has a collection of articles that examine trends, inequities, and coverage measurement topics pertaining to maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition. The recently released Countdown to 2030 Report includes profiles of 81 Countdown priority countries on their current situation and trends in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition. A special supplement of the Journal of Global Health on ‘Measuring coverage of essential maternal and newborn care interventions: An unfinished agenda’ highlights gaps in the current measurement of newborn care practices, comparability issues with implications for future measurement and research.

• Going beyond the current child growth monitoring practices, Haisma and colleagues (2017) propose a theoretical “capability” approach to further the discourse on child growth measurement that views context as integral to the growth assessment.

  • Khara and colleagues (2017) estimate the burden of co-occurrence of stunting and wasting among 6–59 months children using the demographic and health survey and Multi indicator Cluster Surveys datasets from 84 countries.
  • Findings from the MAL-ED birth cohort study (2017) show that diarrhea is not a major driver of poor growth but higher enteropathogens burden as well as low energy and protein density of complementary foods was associated with poor growth in the first 2 years of life.
  • Krishna and colleagues (2017) used time series analysis to examine the trends in inequalities in child stunting and find substantial differences among countries in reducing prevalence of undernutrition and that prevalence of stunting is greater in households experiencing multiple types of disadvantages including poor diet diversity, low maternal education, and poverty.
  • Analysing evidence from household surveys for measuring the essential elements of maternal and newborn health:
    - Sitrin and colleagues (2017) conclude that breastfeeding initiation indicator is not a good marker to determine coverage of other essential newborn practices and therefore recommend including standardized questions about specific practices, in addition to breastfeeding initiation in national household surveys.
    - Amouzou and colleagues (2017) have found that difference in questionnaires and the methodology adopted to measure postnatal care have created comparability issues in the coverage levels, suggesting harmonization of survey instruments on postnatal contacts for examining coverage and trends accurately.
  • Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technologies (MANDATE) is a mathematical model designed to estimate the relative impact of multiple interventions on reducing maternal, fetal, and neonatal mortality in low-resource settings (Jones-Hepler et al. 2017).
  • Countdown to 2030 Report (2018) is the first report in the context of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which includes coverage profiles and concludes that although more data for RMNCH interventions are available now, major data gaps still preclude the use of evidence to drive decision making and accountability.
  • Himaz (2018) used four rounds of longitudinal data to analyse the growth patterns in middle childhood and adolescence and their outcomes as a young adult.
  • Wilunda and colleagues (2017) find no association between caesarean delivery and risk of anaemia among children in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Looking at the different aspects of multiple micronutrient deficiencies:
    - Harding and colleagues (2017) discuss the trends and challenges of ‘hidden hunger’ in South Asia.
    - Berti and colleagues (2017) examine evidence from large-scale prenatal programmes on coverage, compliance and impact of multiple-micronutrient (MMN) supplementation to identify mechanisms for successful implementation of supplementation interventions.
    - Highlighting the importance of monitoring and surveillance for effective implementation of multiple micronutrient supplement programs in pregnancy, Mei and colleagues (2017) propose a set of indicators across the programme lifecycle for consideration when designing a monitoring and surveillance system for multiple micronutrient supplement programs in pregnancy.
    - Monterrosa and colleagues (2017) focus on the procurement and production-related issues of multiple micronutrient supplements in 12 lower and upper middle-income countries.
    - Young and colleagues (2017) examine the acceptability of MMN powders and iron syrup among mothers in Bihar and find no significant difference in preference for one product over the other product.
  • Raghunathan et al. (2017) examine the association between a conditional cash transfer scheme (Mamata in Odisha) and receipt of services and outcomes and find that the scheme positively affected receipt of services, especially those during pregnancy as well as household food security.
  • Nandi and colleagues (2018) estimated the long-term association between early-childhood exposure to ICDS nutrition and adult outcomes including schooling and labor market outcomes and marriage rates.
  • Roy and colleagues (2017) underscore the importance of pulses for nutrition in India.

Enjoy reading!