To measure nutritional status, you must know: sex, age, weight, height and MUAC. For weight measurements and sizes, we must compare the curves established by UNICEF and serve as international references.
The MUAC (or “périmètre brachial” in French) is an index of body mass and is measured in the left arm halfway to the tip of the elbow and the tip of the scapula (the arm should be relaxed ).
There are different types of malnutrition:
- Insufficient weight for height = Acute malnutrition (wasting)
– severe acute malnutrition (SAM): weight = 70% <by weight and arm brachial perimeter <11 cm
– moderate acute malnutrition (MAM): weight between 70% and 80% <average and brachial perimeter between 11 and 12.5 cm
The marasmus (muscle wasting after fat loss) is the most common form. Kwashiorkor is less common and is characterized by edema, anorexia, apathy …
Children being in a very critical situation and often with diseases and infections, must be surrounded by maximum precautions and receive a treatment in hospital.
- insufficient to age Size = Chronic malnutrition (stunting )
- Insufficient weight for age = Underweight
Chronic malnutrition often begins before birth due to poor maternal health, which leads to stunted growth. This is a micronutrient malnutrition. The most important deficiencies listed in terms of micronutrients are: iron, vitamin A and iodine.
The most vulnerable are fetuses, children under five and women before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
An article written with the National Office for Nutrition Madagascar (NSB) and published in the Express Madagascar explains why priority should be given the first 1,000 days of a child.