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What is Wasting?

The most severe, life-threatening form of malnutrition, wasting is defined as significantly low weight-to-height for children and infants under 5 years old.

Wasting makes children especially vulnerable to delays in development, disease, and death.

Worldwide, 60 million children are affected by wasting – most of which are under 2 years old.

How is wasting diagnosed?

There are many signs a child is malnourished, such as low weight, chronic illness, low energy, and loss of appetite.

An easy diagnosis tool often used by health workers (especially in remote areas) is MUAC, or “Mid Upper Arm Circumference” measurement.

Children under 5 years old are determined to be severely malnourished if their MUAC is less than 11.5cm and they show other symptoms of wasting. This is the same as the circumference of a juice bottle cap, a D battery, or a salt shaker.

There is a solution: RUTF (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food). Meds & Food for Kids’ Medika Mamba malnutrition treatment program treats severely malnourished children, and has a 92% success rate in just 8-12 weeks.

MUAC tape
Child MUAC Measurement
Baby eating PlumpyNut/Medika Mamba RUTF