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

WHO released new treatment guidelines for the almost 20 million children under-five worldwide who have severe acute malnutrition. Severe acute malnutrition is when children suffer severe wasting that may or may not be accompanied by swelling of the body from fluid retention. It occurs when infants and children do not have adequate energy, protein and micronutrients in their diet, combined with other health problems such as recurrent infections. It is diagnosed when the circumference of the upper arm is less than 115 mm or when the weight for height of a child is severely reduced. Children with severe acute malnutrition are among the most vulnerable people in the world. They are very thin: most of their fat and muscle has been used by their bodies to stay alive.