The critical age for malnutrition is from six months – when mothers generally start supplementing breast milk – to 24 months. However, children under five, adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly and the chronically ill are also vulnerable.
People become malnourished if they are unable to take in enough or utilise fully the food they eat, due to illnesses such as diarrhoea or other long-standing illnesses, such as measles, HIV and tuberculosis.
We estimate that only three percent of the 20 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive the lifesaving treatment they need.
Malnutrition is diagnosed by comparing standard weights and heights within a given population, or by the measurement of a child’s mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC).
If dietary deficiencies are persistent, children will stop growing and become ‘stunted’ – meaning they have a low height for their age. This is diagnosed as chronic malnutrition.
If they experience weight loss or ‘wasting’ – low weight for one’s height – they are diagnosed as suffering from acute malnutrition.
This occurs when a malnourished person begins to consume his or her own body tissues to obtain needed nutrients.
In the severe acute form, children with kwashiorkor – distended stomachs – can be clinically diagnosed with body swelling irritability and changes in skin pigmentation.
We believe that ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is the most effective way to treat malnutrition. RUTFs contains fortified milk powder and include all the nutrients a child needs during its development and helps reverse deficiencies and gain weight. RUTFs don’t require water for preparation, which eliminates the risk of contamination with water-borne diseases.
Because of its packaging, RUTFs can be used in all kinds of settings and can be stored for long periods of time. Unless the patient suffers from severe complications, RUTFs also allow patients to be treated at home.
Where malnutrition is likely to become severe, we take a preventative approach by distributing supplementary RUTF to at-risk children.
Learn more by exploring this ThingLink:
- Access to essential medicineApply Access to essential medicine filter (21)
- Access to healthcareApply Access to healthcare filter (36)
- Antibiotic resistanceApply Antibiotic resistance filter (2)
- Child healthApply Child health filter (71)
- Maternal healthApply Maternal health filter (15)
- Mental healthApply Mental health filter (13)
- MigrantApply Migrant filter (66)
- Mobile clinicApply Mobile clinic filter (22)
- Neglected diseasesApply Neglected diseases filter (2)
- Reconstructive surgeryApply Reconstructive surgery filter (3)
- Refugees and IDPsApply Refugees and IDPs filter (65)
- Sexual violenceApply Sexual violence filter (6)
- VaccinationApply Vaccination filter (29)
- Water and sanitationApply Water and sanitation filter (19)
- Chagas diseaseApply Chagas disease filter (1)
- EbolaApply Ebola filter (4)
- Hepatitis BApply Hepatitis B filter (1)
- HIV / AIDSApply HIV / AIDS filter (10)
- Infectious diseasesApply Infectious diseases filter (32)
- Kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis)Apply Kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) filter (4)
- LeishmaniasisApply Leishmaniasis filter (4)
- MalariaApply Malaria filter (49)
- MalnutritionApply Malnutrition filter (222)
- MeaslesApply Measles filter (31)
- Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)Apply Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) filter (1)
- Parasitic diseasesApply Parasitic diseases filter (51)
- Pneumococcal diseaseApply Pneumococcal disease filter (1)
- PolioApply Polio filter (3)
- TuberculosisApply Tuberculosis filter (13)
- 2016Apply 2016 filter (46)
- 2015Apply 2015 filter (32)
- 2014Apply 2014 filter (16)
- 2013Apply 2013 filter (15)
- 2012Apply 2012 filter (10)
- 2011Apply 2011 filter (13)
- 2010Apply 2010 filter (5)
- 2009Apply 2009 filter (6)
- 2008Apply 2008 filter (17)
- 2007Apply 2007 filter (10)
- 2006Apply 2006 filter (5)
- 2005Apply 2005 filter (10)
- 2004Apply 2004 filter (5)
- 2003Apply 2003 filter (7)
- 2002Apply 2002 filter (13)
- 2001Apply 2001 filter (2)
- 2000Apply 2000 filter (8)
- 1999Apply 1999 filter (1)
- 1998Apply 1998 filter (1)