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The Family MUAC Approach

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State of Acute Malnutrition

Normal user

6 Dec 2018, 15:15

Less than 25% of children with severe acute malnutrition around the world are currently accessing treatment. How do we reach more children suffering from this life-threatening condition? With the 'Family MUAC' Approach, mothers and other caregivers are trained to identify early signs of malnutrition using a simple to use Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape without going to a health facility or outpatient centre.

Family MUAC can be a useful tool of any programme for moderate or severe acute malnutrition, and an effective way to detect cases earlier and minimise complications and need for hospitalisation. Studies have shown that mothers (or other family members) are able to screen their children as effectively as Community Health Workers (CHWs), which leaves them more time to carry out other tasks. Introduced by ALIMA in 2011, the approach is now implemented worldwide by many organisations.

Learning from experiences around the world

With our partners, The State of Acute Malnutrition Family MUAC pages pages bring together experiences from implementers and researchers who are training caretakers to use the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape to screen their children for acute malnutrition.

Access information & resources about the Family MUAC approach here

With case studies, frequently asked questions, and a map of where the approach is being implemented, the pages present the information already available, and facilitate a discussion about how and when to use the Family MUAC approach with implementers, program managers, researchers and all those working in the treatment of children with acute malnutrition.

Got a question?

If you have a question about the Family MUAC approach, or would like to share learnings from your experience we'd love to hear from you. Please post questions in this forum.


Nutrition Specialist

Normal user

7 Dec 2018, 20:24

Thanks for putting this as a discussion topic on ENN

We have teamed up in Kenya as a small COP to use family MUAC approach to improve the facility - community linkage.

State of Acute Malnutrition

Normal user

16 Jan 2019, 11:38

We're excited to receive a lot of interest in the new Family MUAC Community of Practice

We've been asked if there are any programmes in Zambia using this approach. Do you have information you can share? Let us know by replying to this post.

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