Updates on the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Infants and Children

Severe acute malnutrition affects nearly 20 million preschool-age children, mostly from the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region and South-East Asia Region. Malnutrition is a significant factor in approximately one third of the nearly 8 million deaths in children who are under 5 years of age worldwide. WHO established guidelines for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in 1999 and Member States have requested WHO to update their 1999 document Management of severe malnutrition: a manual for physicians and other senior health workers.

This guideline presents the updated evidence and practice for key interventions and will also serve to inform revisions of the manual. It provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on a number of specific issues related to the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children. In conjunction with other World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, it provides evidence-informed guidance on the care of infants and children with severe malnutrition, including in the context of HIV. The guideline will help Member States and their partners in their efforts to make informed decisions on the appropriate nutrition actions for severely malnourished children, and contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly reduction in child mortality (MDG 4)

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World Health Organization (WHO)


Food and Nutrition
Child Protection