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Nutritional condition in the hospitalization and hospital mortality of children less than 5 years old affected with infectious diseases in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Léon SAVADOGO researcher laureate

°1969 Burkina Faso
Doctor in medicine, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 1998

Etat nutritionnel à l'admission et mortalité hospitalière des enfants de moins de 5 ans atteints de maladies infectieuses à Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Dr Léon Savadogo’s study is particularly concerned with the link between malnutrition and mortality in children who were hospitalised in Ougadougou Hospital in Burkina Faso. It has long been known that malnutrition increases mortality in sick children; that undernourishment especially increases the mortality rate among young children suffering from infectious diseases is also a well-known phenomenon. However, most children who are hospitalized with an infection are still always treated with antibiotics, while too little attention is paid to the treatment of the underlying malnutrition. Dr Savadogo has established that among children under five up to 87% of deaths from infectious diseases can be attributed to serious malnutrition and up to 64.3% to moderate malnutrition. The infections these children suffered from were very common, such as intestinal and pulmonary infections. Dr Savadogo’s study makes a strong plea to treat infections not only with antibiotics but also to carry out a combined approach to the treatment of malnutrition and infection. This will sharply increase the chances of survival for malnourished children.

report by Prof. Dr Van Geet, Department of Paediatrics, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium