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Improving control of child malnutrition in developing countries

11 October 2013 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

NutrInfo is a research result conducted by the group of Telematic Systems for the Information and Knowledge Society of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). It consists of application software that captures weight and height data by using a remote bascule and a mobile device, the application can update the nutritional data immediately. Its purpose is to prevent high infant mortality rates in developing countries.

Over one-third of population mortality in rural areas is due to malnutrition triggered by poverty. Children are the most unprotected victims of this situation and the data of World Healt Organization (WHO) have confirmed the fact: over 200M of children under the age of five are not able to develop their cognitive and social abilities.

Identification of malnourished children is essential to start programmes of therapeutic and supplementary feeding urgently. NutriInfo aims to support the daily work of medical staff of rural communities by using nutritional status of children. NutrInfo is application software that captures data of weight and height using a remote bascule.

The collected information is stored in a mobile device that provides more reliable data and updates the nutritional status of children in less time than using the conventional system (paper records).

The NutrInfo application is developed in Java programming language. It works with Android 2.1 system devices and has a user interface easy to use. It was validated in situ, in Cusmapa (Nicaragua) by two researchers of the Telecommunication School, Laura Vadillo Moreno and Sury Bravo Lasprilla.

This tool needs a remote bascule, similar to “Will Balance Board”, a mobile device and a computer with the “Anthro” programme of the WHO. In this way, a proper control of children can be carried out with growth and development standards up to five- year-old children.

This application is designed for medical staff of rural communities and, in general, for health staff responsible for measurement and weight of children as well as their growth monitoring.

The application was developed within the framework of The Millennium Villages project under the direction of the Professor Miguel Ángel Valero Duboy, a researcher of the cooperation group of the UPM, ICT for Education and Development.

Attached files

  • Measuring a girl with the NutrInfo system. Photo: Sury Bravo.

  • A girl on a bascule. NutrInfo. Fhoto: Sury Bravo.

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