Acute malnutrition is still a common occurrence in Indonesia and many other countries. One of the most appropriate therapies for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food). However, these products are currently not yet widely available in Indonesia. Building on our previous experience, in collaboration with the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in France, Savica is in currently carrying out an acceptability and efficacy study in Bogor district (West Java) of different products specially formulated for use in Indonesia, compared to the gold standard. In addition, Savica also supports IRD in providing technical assistance to the Indonesian Government to develop and test formulations for locally produced RUTFs. The results will be used to inform the formulation and local production of the most suitable product for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition.
Implementing this study in the middle of a pandemic poses its own challenges, to keep not only the team but also the study participants and their families and communities safe. Our field workers are thoroughly trained in the health protocols needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and they work closely together with the health centers and District Health Office in the study area.