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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
New guidelines issued by UN for treating severe acute child malnutrition
Nov 28, 2013

According to WHO, severe acute malnutrition is when children suffer severe wasting that may or may not be accompanied by swelling of the body from fluid retention. It occurs when infants and children do not have adequate energy, protein and micronutrients in their diet, combined with other health problems such as recurrent infections. It is diagnosed when the circumference of the upper arm is less than 115 millimetres or when the weight for height of a child is severely reduced.

Thus the United Nations health agency has released new treatment guidelines for the almost 20 million children under the age of five worldwide who have severe acute malnutrition, including options for allowing them to recover at home, as well as treating those with HIV.

The guidelines are critical because many national health plans currently overlook children with severe acute malnutrition. This can be fatal. If these children don’t get the right medical and nutritional care, very often they die.

The updated WHO guidelines recommend that children with severe acute malnutrition who do not have health complications that require hospitalization, receive special, high-energy food and antibiotics to treat infection. This allows them to recover at home with their families.

The new guidelines also address how to treat children with severe acute malnutrition for HIV and offer recommendations on treating severely malnourished infants under six months.

They supersede WHO’s 1999 guidelines which recommended that all severely malnourished children be hospitalized, given fortified formula milk and appropriate treatment including antibiotics. But widespread use of antibiotics among children who do not need them would increase the risk of infections becoming resistant to lifesaving antibiotics – a situation that would harm the health and survival of all children

The new guidelines recommend that children with severe acute malnutrition in countries where HIV is common be routinely tested for the virus, and those who are positive should start on antiretroviral drugs as well as special foods and antibiotics to treat their severe malnutrition.

Also addressed for the first time are the needs of infants under the age of six months with severe acute malnutrition. WHO recommends that all babies under six months are exclusively breastfed for optimal nutrition and protection against infections.


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