Health and Fitness

Unlocking Progress: WHO’s New Guideline Targets Acute Malnutrition in Children Under 5

  • November 20, 2023
  • 2 min read
Unlocking Progress: WHO’s New Guideline Targets Acute Malnutrition in Children Under 5

In a landmark move, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a comprehensive guideline to combat acute malnutrition in children under five. This initiative addresses the persistent global challenge, offering evidence-based recommendations for prevention and management.

Despite commitments to eliminate malnutrition by 2030, an estimated 45 million children worldwide continue to suffer from acute malnutrition, making this guideline a crucial step in the right direction.

Key Recommendations:

  1. Child-centered approach and care for mothers and infants as an interdependent pair.
  2. Emphasis on breastfeeding and access to nutrient-dense home diets for both prevention and management.
  3. Recognition of the vital role of community health workers in providing evidence-based care.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach, stating, “This guideline helps support countries to prevent and manage acute malnutrition, emphasizing the continuum of care for children and their families.” The directive calls for greater integration of nutrition services into health systems, paving the way for a holistic solution to the complex issue of acute malnutrition in children.

Collaborating with UNICEF and other UN agencies involved in the Global Action Plan (GAP) on child wasting, WHO is actively developing operational guidance for policymakers, program managers, and health workers. This inclusive approach involves experienced practitioners, programmers, academics, and other stakeholders through the UNICEF-WHO Technical Advisory Group.

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Regional and country workshops are underway, with additional activities planned for extensive stakeholder involvement in adapting this global guidance to specific contexts, ensuring meaningful implementation and impact.

Source: WHO

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