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Guideline: updates on the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children

Overview

This guideline provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on a number of specific issues related to the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children, 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. It will also support Member States in their efforts to achieve global targets
on the maternal, infant and young child nutrition comprehensive implementation plan, especially global target 1, which entails achieving 40% reduction by 2025 of the global number of children under 5 years who are stunted and global target 6 that
aims to reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

The guideline is intended for a wide audience, including policy-makers, their expert advisers, and technical and programme staff in organizations involved in the design, implementation and scaling-up of nutrition actions for public health. The guideline
will form the basis for a revised manual on the management of severe malnutrition for physicians and other senior health workers, and a training course on the management of severe malnutrition.

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Note for media

Evidence

Supporting reviews

WHO commissioned the following reviews based on the prioritization of questions on the management of severe acute malnutrition that were not covered by the review conducted by the Southampton Health Technology Assessment Centre review: The effectiveness
of interventions to treat severe acute malnutrition in young children: a systematic review.

  • Background review 1 

    Roberfroid D, et al. Utilization of mid-upper arm circumference versus weight-for-height in nutritional rehabilitation programmes:
    a systematic review of evidence. 2013
  • Background review 2  

    Roberfroid
    D, et al. Management of oedematous malnutrition in infants and children aged >6 months: a systematic review of the evidence. 2013
  • Background review 3  

    Manary M, Iannoti L, Trehan I. Systematic review of vitamin A supplementation in the treatment of children with severe acute
    malnutrition. 2012
  • Background review 4  

    Manary M, et al. Systematic review of the care of children with diarrhoea in the community-based management of severe acute
    malnutrition. 2012
  • Background review 5  

    Manary M, Trehan I, Weisz A. Systematic review of transition phase feeding of children with severe acute malnutrition as
    inpatients. 2012
  • Background review 6  

    Manary M, Trehan I. Systematic review of the role of fluid infusions and blood transfusions in the care of hospitalized children
    with severe acute malnutrition. 2012
  • Background review 7  

    Manary M, Trehan I, Willumsen J. Systematic review of the care of HIV-infected children with severe acute malnutrition. 2012
  • Background review 8  

    Kerac M, et al. Admission and discharge criteria for the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants aged under 6
    months. 2012
  • Background review 9 

    Kerac M, et al. Inpatient treatment of severe acute malnutrition in infants aged <6 months. 2012

Editors

World Health Organization

Copyright

World Health Organization