Cost analysis of community-based daily and weekly programs for treatment of moderate and mild wasting among children on Nias Island, Indonesia

Ratna Chrismiari Purwestri, Veronika Scherbaum, Dyah Ayu Inayati, Nia Novita Wirawan, Julia Suryantan, Maurice Alexander Bloem, Rosnani Verba Pangaribuan, Volker Hoffmann, Hans Konrad Biesalski, Matin Qaim, Anne Camilla Bellows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background. Ready-to-use food in the form of biscuits (RUF-Nias biscuit) was locally produced for rehabilitation of moderately and mildly wasted (weight-for-height z-score ≥ -3 to < -1.5 SD) children on Nias Island, Indonesia. Daily programs were performed in semiurban settings, and weekly programs took place in rural areas. Objective. To analyze the cost of daily and weekly distribution and supervision of RUF-Nias biscuit programs. Methods. The costs of the daily and weekly programs were derived from the financial report and interviews with program implementers and participating households. Costs were calculated on the basis of total rehabilitation costs per child per day required to achieve a target weight-for-height z-score ≥ -1.5 SD in daily and weekly programs. Results. Institutional costs to the implementing organization were similar for both programs (approximately US$4 per child per day). The daily programs resulted in a significantly higher proportion of recovered children (78.6% vs. 65.4%) and higher weight gain (3.7 vs. 2.2 g/kg/day) than the weekly programs. About 6% to 7% of the total cost of the programs was accounted for by locally produced RUF-Nias biscuits. The social cost borne by the community for the weekly programs was about half that for the daily programs. Conclusions. The daily programs achieved better results for the implementing organization than the weekly programs; however, the weekly programs were preferred by the community because of the lower time constraints and the lower opportunity cost of time. The willingness of community and household members to invest their time in more intensive activities in the daily programs led to better program outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Children who reached discharge criterion
  • Daily and weekly programs
  • Institutional and social cost
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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