*The Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) is the coordinating committee for 13 NGOs working in nine refugee camps along the Thailand/Myanmar border.
TBC and CCSDPT Health Agencies conducted nutrition surveys of children 6-59 months of age in all camps in 2017.
Random sampling was used to select households (HH) with children 6-59 months of age in all camps using TBC’s Total Population Database (TPD). TBC trained health agency staff to implement surveys in all camps, and supervised all surveys to completion. Data was analyzed using SPSS software (version 22). The WHO growth standards were used to report principal anthropometry results.
Results A total number of 3,905 children were surveyed in all nine camps.
Malnutrition Rates: An average of 2.1% of children surveyed were found with global acute (wasting) malnutrition border-wide. Wasting rates for children <5 years of age remain well within the “acceptable” criteria according to the WHO benchmarks.
Wasting in camps remains lower than in Thailand or Myanmar. Graph 1.5 shows wasting prevalence in previous nutrition surveys conducted since 2003 – the rate has been “acceptable” border-wide for every survey.
By age group, the highest rates of wasting malnutrition were found in children 6-11 months of age in all camps (Table 1.2), although this was only a small number of children (n=11).
Significant progress was achieved in reducing stunting with over 3% reduction from 2015-2017 (9% reduction from 2013-2017). An average of 31.8% (range 18.8%-41.7% border-wide) of children surveyed were found with global chronic (stunting) malnutrition. Stunting ranged between “acceptable” and “very high” (WHO benchmarks); the average rate border-wide continues to be “high” but is now in the lower range (30.0-39.9%).
Stunting in the camps is higher than in Thailand and lower than in Myanmar.
Graph 1.6 highlights stunting prevalence in previous nutrition surveys conducted – the rate has ranged from “high to very high” border-wide for every survey, with notable progress in 2017.
Feeding Practices: Maternal Nutrition Antenatal Clinic (ANC) attendance at any time during pregnancy was high at 98.1%; however, the timing of the first ANC visit was late with only 13.7% visiting ANC as soon as they knew of their pregnancy and 31.6% at four months or longer during the pregnancy (Table 1.7).
For maternal nutrition education, the benefits of weight gain during pregnancy were not well understood.
The most frequently reported foods that were restricted after delivery do not seem harmful as they included cha-om, dogfruit, chili and fermented foods.
Food consumption during pregnancy was best practised related to iron intake, and during breastfeeding iron and amount of food consumed (Graphs 1.9-2.0).
There was high compliance for supplementation with iron, vitamin A and folic acid during pregnancy or breastfeeding at over 90% for each (range 91.9%-98.4%, Table 1.8), improved from 2015 (range 83.9%-94.7%).