Effect of a Fortified Balanced Energy-Protein Supplement on Birth Outcome in rural Burkina Faso.
The department of Food Technology, Safety and Health of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University is engaged in a research on nutrition during pregnancy and lactation in Burkina Faso.
20 Million children with low birth weight
Every year, 20 million children are born with a low birth weight, with increased risk for mortality, illness and impaired growth at a young age, and increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease later in life. Although healthy nutrition during pregnancy is crucial for the health of both mother and child, many women in the global south have insufficient access to it. Starting from 2018, Ghent University will investigate whether an enriched food supplement during pregnancy and lactation improves birth outcomes and growth of children in Burkina Faso. The department received a grand from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide the necessary evidence to strengthen the WHO recommendation for the provision of balanced energy-protein (BEP) supplements in pregnant women in undernourished populations.
Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
A BEP supplement provides less than 25% of protein of the total energy content, and includes different vitamins and minerals. The first part of an exploratory study will determine which type of BEP supplement (bar, drink, biscuit, soup or paste) is most accepted by pregnant women. Subsequently, two products will be tested for longer-term acceptability and at-home use (phase 1). The effect of the most suitable supplement will be tested in a controlled clinical trial (phase 2). The intervention group will receive the dietary supplement during pregnancy and/or lactation, while the control group complies with the standard iron and folic acid tablets following the national guidelines.
The study takes place in the Houndé district in Burkina Faso in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institiute (IFPRI), Harvard School of Public Health, the University of California (Davis), Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS) of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and AfricSanté, a Burkinabè research organisation.
Clinical trial database:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00909974
Team members University of Ghent:
Prof. dr. Patrick Kolsteren
Prof. dr. Carl Lachat
Laeticia Celine Toe, MD, MSc.
Katrien Vanslambrouck, MD
Brenda de Kok, MSc.