Adaptations to the management of acute malnutrition in the context of COVID-19: final report

Acute malnutrition in children under five remains a critical challenge, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates indicate that up to 9.3 million more children will suffer from acute malnutrition by 2022. However, standard community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) program models require proximity between health workers and patients, which may increase COVID-19 transmission risk. Furthermore, children must undergo frequent check-ups, a challenge under movement restrictions. The findings presented in this report aim to both contribute to decision-making as the pandemic continues and to the simplified approaches evidence base by highlighting operational experiences and lessons learned. The report discusses takeaways consistent across adaptations and delineates lessons learned for five common adaptations: Family MUAC; modified admission and discharge criteria; reduced frequency of follow-up visits; modified dosage of therapeutic foods; and providing treatment when facilities were inaccessible.