Background: The prevalence of acute malnutrition in Columbia was 1.6% in 2015, which was significantly higher than that found in 2010 (0.9%). Further, the distribution by age shows a higher prevalence of malnutrition in children under 2 years of age. Low rates (36.1%) of exclusive breastfeeding (BF) were found in these children, and adequate BF rates (45.5%) were found for children between 6 and 23 months. These percentages were low compared to the world average of 46%. The objective was to evaluate breastfeeding practices, relactation and feeding processes related to the recovery of children between 0 and 24 months of age with a diagnosis of moderate or severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treated at prioritized health service provider institutions and in the Nutritional Recovery Centers of the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar (ICBF).
Methods: This research was a mixed-type observational descriptive design in the community with a quantitative and qualitative component in three phases. The first phase characterized the practices of breastfeeding and relactation among mothers seeking help for their infants through the Nutritional Recovery Centers of the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar ICBF and health service provider institutions during the study period. In the second phase, a technical strengthening intervention will be carried out aimed at health professionals, and in the third phase, the care processes will be reviewed before and after the intervention. In addition, anthropometric variables and practices of breastfeeding on admission and discharge from care facilities were reviewed to identify potential factors related to the nutritional recovery process.
Discussion: This research aims to provide a characterization of breastfeeding and relactation in the population treated for infants with severe acute malnutrition in the CRN and IPS, improve health professionals’ care processes for children with SAM, contribute to the achievement of relactation in mothers of children with moderate and severe acute malnutrition that graduate from the IPS and CRN and identify the potential factors related to the nutritional recovery of these children.
Trial registration: Not aplicable