Interventions to manage acute malnutrition in children under 5 years of age in low‐and middle‐income countries
Citation: Das JK, Salam RA, Saeed M, et al. Effectiveness of interventions to manage acute malnutrition in children under 5 years of age in low‐and middle‐income countries: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2020; 16(2): e1082
What is this: The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on many areas of society. Existing research on ways to manage childhood malnutrition may provide information to help policy makers facing these challenges.
In this Campbell systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies of the management of children under 5 years of age with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in low- and middle-income countries using facility‐ and community‐based approaches. They did not restrict their searches by date or language of publication and did the search in February 2019. They included 33 randomised trials, 6 quasi‐experimental studies and 3 cost studies (total: 35,017 children).
What was found: Integrated community‐based screening, identification and outpatient management improved recovery, when compared with standard care and in‐patient management for children in low- and middle-income countries who are under 5 years of age and have severe or moderate acute malnutrition.
Community or out‐patient management of children under 5 years of age with uncomplicated severe or moderate acute malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries may be the most cost‐effective strategy.
What’s uncertain: The effects are uncertain for various community and facility‐based strategies in low- and middle-income countries (including active community‐based surveillance, training of community health workers for community‐based screening, and training of health‐facility staff to diagnose and treat children under 5 years of age with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition).
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