Bulletin of the World Health Organization
versión impresa ISSN 0042-9686
MARTIN-PREVEL, Y et al. Deterioration in the nutritional status of young children and their mothers in Brazzaville, Congo, following the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2000, vol.78, n.1, pp. 108-118. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862000000100017.
The effects of the January 1994 devaluation of the African Financial Community (CFA) franc on the nutritional situation of the populations concerned has been little documented. We report in this article on two nutritional cross-sectional surveys that were conducted before and after this devaluation (1993 and 1996) in two districts of Brazzaville, Congo. The surveys involved a representative sample of 4206 households with a child aged 4-23 months. Complementary feeding practices and the anthropometric indices of the children and their mothers were compared, adjusting for changes in household socioeconomic characteristics. The results show a decline in the quality of the first complementary foods offered to the infants, i.e. less frequent use of special transitional foods and imported complementary flours (of higher nutritional quality), and preparation of less nutritious local gruels. Overall, the nutritional situation had deteriorated, with greater levels of stunting and wasting among children, mothers with lower body mass index, and infants with reduced birth weights. Increased food prices would appear to be the direct cause of the decreased quality in complementary feeding, but factors other than the devaluation have also had an impact on household welfare. The influence of these factors on nutritional status is discussed.
Palabras llave : Congo; devaluation; feeding behaviour; nutrition surveys; socioeconomic factors.