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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


NUNEZ, Ninfa; SANABRIA, Marta Cristina  and  AGUILAR, Gloria. Efficacy of the nutritional intervention of the PANI program after six months of treatment at the Regional Hospital of Concepción. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2021, vol.48, n.2, pp.133-141. ISSN 1683-9803.


Food programs have proven to be effective tools to reduce the prevalence of child malnutrition.


To evaluate the effectiveness of the nutritional intervention of the Comprehensive Nutritional Food Program (PANI) in the changes of anthropometric and biochemical indicators in children <5 years at risk of malnutrition and malnourishment who presented to the Regional Hospital of Concepción, upon admission to the program versus after six months of intervention.

Materials and Methods:

This was a prospective study with an analytical component. Sample size: 134 boys and girls <5 years old, PANI participants in Concepción during 2014. Cut-off points for malnutrition and anemia were according to WHO criteria. Parametric and non-parametric measures were used, χ2, τ student test was applied. Significance p <0.05.


134 children were evaluated. Average Age: 22.4 months. 59.7% were breast-fed. Mothers with <6 years of schooling, 17.9%, 80.6% with ≤ 3 children. Access to safe water, 44.8% and access to basic sanitation 40.3%. Exclusive breastfeeding at the 5th month of age was 7.5%. The prevalence of malnutrition decreased after the 6th month of intervention from 14.9% vs 4.4% (p <0.01). The prevalence of children at risk of malnutrition decreased from 73.1% to 27.6% at the 6th month. Anemia on admission, 63%. Intestinal parasitosis on admission 24.6%. PANI desertion rate was 31.3%.


The prevalence of malnutrition and anemia decreased after the 6th month of treatment in children participating in PANI in Concepción.

Keywords : Food program; child malnutrition; risk of malnutrition; anemia.

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