A two-day symposium on African Mortality held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Freetown drew participants from Africa and other parts of the world to discuss the rate of maternal mortality in Africa.
During his presentation on the topic ‘Malnutrition in the causal chain of under-five child deaths: The role of clinical misdiagnoses – Bombali and Bo Districts in Sierra Leone.’ the Deputy CHAMPS Team Lead Dr. Erick Kaluma started by defining Malnutrition as deficiencies or excesses in nutrient intake, imbalance of essential nutrients, or impaired nutrient utilization, he said that the SDG target 2.2 states that 50% of under-five deaths have malnutrition in the causal chain, Malnutrition in <5 in Sierra Leone, 63,362 (1.4%) children are severely malnourished, 33% of <5 are stunted, 176,269 (3.9%) have acute, malnutrition annually.
Dr. Erick continued that the effects of malnutrition weakened immunity, susceptible to long-term, developmental delays, and severe irreversible physical and cognitive damage, which is why CHAMPS (Child Health And Mortality, Prevention Surveillance) is a Global surveillance network that generates and shares accurate causes of death data on child mortality, did a Study between 2019 to 2022 to compare the accuracy of diagnosis of malnutrition between clinicians and the CHAMPS DeCoDe panel focusing on Children 6 months to 5 years, Malnutrition in the causal chain of death Exclusion, Cases without clinical abstraction and others.
He ended by saying that clinicians are missing a diagnosis of malnutrition in up to 76% of children <5, for which he recommended Improving the capacity for the clinical diagnosis of malnutrition, and additional qualitative research, is needed.
Apart from the presentation made, there were 8 additional postal which were written by local CHAMPS staff in Makeni and Bo, these write-ups will be considered for publication.
The panel which featured CHAMPS was made up of Dr. Portia C Mutevedzi, who spoke on how CHAMPS is reducing child mortality through post-mortem testing in resource-limited settings with high mortality, Mr. Sorie I.B Kamara- spoke on the foundation for High-resolution Mortality Surveillance, the Experience of CHAMPS in Sierra Leone and Mr. Tesfamichael A. Sisay looked at the Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling (MITS) in home settings: a descriptive study in Butajira Health and Demographic Surveillance system (HDSS). The roundtable discussion was chaired by Dr. Ikechukwu Ogbuanu the County Site Director of CHAMPS.