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Field Exchange - Issue 9

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Resource type:Articles
Language:English
Keywords:Children & young people, Development & humanitarian aid, Food and nutrition, Nutrition
Agency:Emergency Nutrition Network
Date published:March 2000
Pages:24pp

Often mistakenly assumed to be breastfed and therefore healthy, under 6 month old infants have to date been overlooked in terms of assessment and treatment of malnutrition. Infants of this age group have generally been excluded from nutrition surveys and guidelines generally do not include their treatment in Therapeutic Feeding Centres (TFCs). Clearly, this is not acceptable given that this group often represent a significant proportion of those admitted to therapeutic feeding centres during emergencies. Claudine Prudhon from ACF writes about the experience of undertaking anthropometric assessment of infants in Kabul, and highlights the difficulties encountered in their assessment. Mike Golden adds a post-script, which provides additional context to Claudine’s article and gives reasons why this type of survey, is of value. His piece also reports on a similar survey undertaken in Liberia using the example to show the level of inaccuracy introduced by ‘rounding up’ measurements to a specific decimal point, and the biases introduced when a height of 65cm is assumed as a cut-off for 6 month olds. Both these articles provide new data, analysis and thinking and we would urge readers to take up Golden’s suggestion to carry out and share any assessment of this age group so that guidelines and policies governing treatment of this age group are better informed.

 

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