Volume 77, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Negative consequences of malaria might account for seasonality in nutritional status in children in the Sahel. We report the impact of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of seasonal intermittent preventive anti-malarial treatment on growth and nutritional status in 1,063 Senegalese preschool children. A combination of artesunate and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine was given monthly from September to November. In the intervention arm, mean weight gain was significantly greater (122.9 ± 340 versus 42.9 ± 344 [SD] g/mo, < 0.0001) and losses in triceps and subscapular skinfold measurements were less (−0.39 ± 1.01 versus −0.66 ± 1.01 mm/mo, and −0.15 ± 0.64 versus −0.36 ± 0.62 mm/mo, respectively, < 0.0001 for both). There was no difference in height increments. The prevalence of wasting increased significantly in the control arm (4.6% before versus 9.5% after, < 0.0001), but remained constant in intervention children: 5.6% versus 7.0% ( = 0.62). The prevention of malaria would improve child nutritional status in areas with seasonal transmission.


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  • Received : 25 Jan 2007
  • Accepted : 13 May 2007

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