This week the State of Acute Malnutrition launched a Community of Practice on Family MUAC. This innovative approach trains mothers and other caretakers to identify early signs of malnutrition by using a simple-to-use Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape without going to a health facility or outpatient centre. The site brings together experiences from implementers and researchers around the world who are training on the use of the MUAC tape to screen for malnutrition in the community in English and in French.

Family MUAC can be a useful tool of any programme for moderate or severe acute malnutrition, and an effective way to detect cases earlier, and minimise complications and need for hospitalisation. Studies have shown that mothers (or other family members) are able to screen their children as effectively as Community Health Workers (CHWs), which leaves them more time to carry out other tasks. Introduced by ALIMA in 2011, the approach is now implemented worldwide by many organisations.

No Wasted Lives’ technical advisory group the Council of Research & Technical Advice on Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM) endorses the use of the MUAC tape as the primary tool for the detection, diagnosis, and discharge of acute malnutrition in children 6-59 months of age in the community. See the recommendation here.

The State of Acute Malnutrition website is managed by the No Wasted Lives Coalition, and aims to provide an overview of all available information related to severe and moderate acute malnutrition in both English and French, at a global and country-specific level.

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