News Archive

November 25, 2009 - Nature Reviews Endocrinology
"Management of children with acute malnutrition in resource-poor settings"

HKI’s Kenneth Brown (University of California, Davis), Svenja Jungjohann, and Daniele H. Nyirandutiye, published an article in November 2009’s Nature Reviews Endocrinology (volume 5, pages 597-603), describing the main components of the treatment of young children with acute malnutrition in resource poor settings and some recent advances in community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) programs.

Approximately 11% of children worldwide suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition; and these children have a considerably increased risk of dying. Experience from the past two decades indicates that children with uncomplicated moderate or severe acute malnutrition can be managed successfully as outpatients (by use of appropriate treatment of infections and either lipid-based, ready-to-use therapeutic foods or appropriately formulated home diets, along with psychosocial care), while children with severe acute malnutrition and life-threatening complications require short-term inpatient care.

Though questions remain concerning the most cost-effective dietary regimens that are simple enough to apply in isolated communities by minimally trained field staff, tremendous progress has been made been achieved in the management of children with severe and moderate acute malnutrition by extending the reach of treatment programs through community mobilization activities and community-based diagnosis and treatment.