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BACKGROUND: In rural African settings, most of the children under the coverage of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) are also undernourished at the time of SMC delivery, justifying the need for packaging malarial and nutritional interventions. This study aimed at assessing the impact of SMC by coupling the intervention with nutrients supplementation for preventing malaria in children less than 5 years old in Burkina Faso. METHODS: A randomized trial was carried out between July 2020 and June 2021 in the health district of Nanoro, Burkina Faso. Children (n = 1059) under SMC coverage were randomly assigned to one of the three study arms SMC + Vitamin A (SMC-A, n = 353) or SMC + Vitamin A + Zinc (SMC-AZc, n = 353) or SMC + Vitamin A + PlumpyDoz(tm) (SMC-APd, n = 353)-a medium quantity-lipid-based nutrient supplement (MQ-LNS). Children were followed up for one year that included an active follow-up period of 6 months with scheduled monthly home visits followed by 6 months passive follow-up. At each visit, capillary blood sample was collected for malaria diagnosis by rapid diagnosis test (RDT). RESULTS: Adding nutritional supplements to SMC had an effect on the incidence of malaria. A reduction of 23% (adjusted IRR = 0.77 (95%CI 0.61-0.97) in the odds of having uncomplicated malaria in SMC-APd arm but not with SMC-AZc arm adjusted IRR = 0.82 (95%CI 0.65-1.04) compare to control arm was observed. A reduction of 52%, adjusted IRR = 0.48 (95%CI 0.23-0.98) in the odds of having severe malaria was observed in SMC-APd arm compared to control arm. Besides the effect on malaria, this combined strategy had an effect on all-cause morbidity. More specifically, a reduction of morbidity odds of 24%, adjusted IRR = 0.76 (95%CI 0.60-0.94) in SMC-APd arm compared to control arm was observed. Unlike clinical episodes, no effect of nutrient supplementation on cross sectional asymptomatic infections was observed. CONCLUSION: Adding nutritional supplements to SMC significantly increases the impact of this intervention for preventing children from malaria and other childhood infections. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04238845.

Original publication




Journal article


Malar J

Publication Date





Malaria, Malnutrition, PlumpyDoz™, Seasonal chemo-prevention, Vitamin A, Zinc