Severe acute malnutrition remains a major killer of children under five years of age. Until recently, treatment has been restricted to facility-based approaches, greatly limiting its coverage and impact. New evidence suggests, however, that large numbers of children with severe acute malnutrition can be treated in their communities without being admitted to a health facility or a therapeutic feeding centre. The community-based approach is to be used for detection severe acute malnutrition .
In many poor countries, the majority of children who have severe acute malnutrition are never brought to health facilities. In these cases, only an approach with a strong community component can provide them with the appropriate care. Evidence shows that about 80 per cent of children with severe acute malnutrition who have been identified through active case finding, or through sensitizing and mobilizing communities to access decentralized services themselves, can be treated at home.
The treatment is to feed children a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) until they have gained adequate weight. In some settings it may be possible to construct an appropriate therapeutic diet using locally available nutrient-dense foods with added micronutrient supplements. However, this approach requires very careful monitoring because nutrient adequacy is hard to achieve.In addition to the provision of RUTF, children need to receive a short course of basic oral medication to treat infections
TAGARE ZAWADI IN KENYA is targeting to Improving access to high-quality foods and to health care; improving nutrition and health knowledge and practices; effectively promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life where appropriate; promoting improved complementary feeding practices for all children aged 6-4 years.