Screening children for malnutrition

The target group of our fight against acute malnutrition consists of children between 6 and 59 months (i.e., under six years of age) in Parakou, N’dali and Tchaourou in Borgou.

The acute malnutrition rate there was very high, as also mentioned in Unicef’s report, but has decreased significantly year after year thanks to the efficient approach of our malnutrition program. Our early detection strategy, combined with appropriate treatment, is correct.


Our ultimate ambition is that all children in our region are born and grow up in good health. And because young children are easily susceptible to other diseases, it is essential to detect and treat any malnutrition (and debilitation) at an early stage.


Every year, our 15 specially trained social assistants launch a large-scale screening campaign. They go door to door and examine more than 12,000 children. Initially, they measure arm or brachial circumference. Depending on those results, they also perform other measurements to determine whether a child is malnourished.

After each screening, severely malnourished children are referred to partner hospitals and health centres, depending on the severity of malnutrition.

Moderately malnourished children are cared for in the community.

The project is implemented in 47 villages in N’Dali commune and the larger town of Kassouala in Tchaourou commune.

The Foundation is also active in 17 other villages, with groups of Femmes Ambassadrices de Nutrition doing screenings of malnourished children and conducting cooking workshops every three months for mothers on balanced nutrition.


With more than 12,000 children screened during each campaign, we reach nearly 7,000 families. In the 48 villages where we are very intensively engaged with this project, the malnutrition rate has decreased from 11.8% in 2019 to 1.5% in 2023, a spectacular result.

Our next challenge is to train and empower even more villagers to educate, screen and – if necessary – initiate initial treatment themselves. Then, we can share our experience and apply our expertise to other villages and regions.

The King Baudouin Foundation
Company Vandemoortele