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MAM recovery criteria?

This question was posted the Management of wasting/acute malnutrition forum area and has 3 replies.

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Anonymous 39645

Nutrition Fellow, CRS

Normal user

3 Mar 2020, 08:24

Hello, I am a fellow evaluating a community-based supplementary feeding program focused on children 6-59 months with MAM (we refer out for SAM) in a complex emergency context. We enroll if MUAC is <125mm, and we provide 8 fixed weeks of feeding/follow up; we do not discharge. We also do not take WFH. Our team has been defining recovery as the last follow-up MUAC greater than or equal to 125mm; is this in line with other organizations / WHO?

Essentially, is one MUAC greater than or equal to 125mm sufficient to meet MAM recovery criteria, or should we be using two consecutive MUACs >/= 125 mm? I see a lot of guidance for SAM recovery critieria, but not as much for MAM. I am newer to this field, so I appreciate your patience and feedback.

Mark Manary

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medic

Normal user

10 Mar 2020, 18:02

There is no UN official definition of recovery from MAM, but logically many of us find ourselves using the criterion of no longer qualifying for MAM treatment.  

I would caution against using the word recovery in MUAC only-based programs, as -2 SD for 12 mo girls for MUAC is 12.0cm.  So a number of the girls treated for MAM are not < 2SD below the population average.  Rather use term, 'final MUAC > 12.4cm'.  One MUAC > 12.4cm is enough, do not require 2 unless your main purpose is to give out lots of supplementary food.


Normal user

11 Mar 2020, 14:47

WFP uses the following criteria for MAM client discharge in Ethiopia

If a child was admitted based on MUAC, they should be discharged based on a target weight gain of 13%  AND MUAC ≥12.5 cm for 2 consecutive distributions.

If the child reaches 13% target weight gain, but the MUAC measurement remains <12.5 cm, the child should continue attending TSFP distributions until the MUAC reaches ≥12.5 cm.

For PLW, MUAC ≥23cm for two consecutive follow ups

Sher Singh Dahit


Normal user

6 Jun 2020, 07:59

In Nepal, we use following discharge criteria for MAM:

MUAC >125 mm (12.5cm) And

Minimum 2 months stay in the program. 

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