Management of Malnutrition in Children Under Five Years
Management of Moderate Acute Malnutrition in Children Under Five Years
Acutely malnourished children lack growth nutrients that are required to build new tissues. These nutrients aid weight gain after illness, repair damaged tissues and help replace the rapid turn-over of cells (intestine and immune cells). Correct replenishment of nutrients like essential amino acids (protein), potassium, magnesium and zinc (among other minerals) is essential for recovery from malnutrition.
This section addresses the treatment of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) characterized by moderate wasting (W/H < 80% NCHS median or Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) < 12.5). Its aim is to prevent mortality by reducing deterioration into Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
Supplementary feeding is the additional provision of essential foods. It is called "supplementary" because it is given in addition to the normal food the child is given at home and compensates for deficiencies in energy, protein and micronutrients. Supplementary foods are provided through dry or wet take-home ration.
Where Supplementary Feeding Programs (SFP) are not available, other curative measures may be put in place for the moderately malnourished such as nutritional support programs and/or provision of fortified foods.
Note: A significant and continued reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition in the population is likely only if SFP is implemented in conjunction with a general food ration that targets the most vulnerable sections of the population, such as children under five years, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and individuals with social and medical problems (e.g. people infected/affected by HIV or TB, orphans, twins, physically and emotionally challenged people and unaccompanied children).
9 October, 2013