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Scale-up of treatment for wasting (questions escalated to the Wasting TWG)

This question was posted the COVID-19 and nutrition programming forum area and has 1 replies.

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GTAM Wasting TWG

Emergency Nutrition Network

Frequent user

19 Jun 2020, 10:45

a. Scale up of nutrition treatment
Should we plan for the scale up of wasting treatment programmes in anticipation of higher prevalence of wasting due to economic stress related to the impacts of COVID-19?
Can we anticipate increased demand through multi-sectoral surveillance linking, for example, with the food security sector?
How can we respond to higher demand?
b. Inpatient capacity. Do we need to count our inpatient capacity given that this will likely reduce due to implementation of IPC measures e.g. physical space between beds and separate areas for COVID-19 cases?

GTAM Wasting TWG

Emergency Nutrition Network

Frequent user

19 Jun 2020, 11:39

The following answers were compiled through consultation withing the Wasting TWG

a. Yes, early projections indicate that there will likely be increases in wasting and therefore, scale up of treatment services will be needed. Ability to meet increased demand will depend on the context and a number of factors. a) the degree of movement restrictions in place b) the prioritisation of the treatment of wasting by governments and donors (ensuring staff and funding are not redirected from these activities towards the pandemic) c) amount and flexibility of funding available to scale up the response, particularly for RUTF (ncluding for RUTF and other supplies) d) capacity of actors to scale up services (especially in the context of lockdown and reduced mobility of staff). It is recommended that countries anticipate and plan for increased demand for services and advocate clearly in country that not only should treatment services continue to be prioritised during the pandemic response, but services will likely need to be need to be scaled up and resources provided to support the scale up. Need more input from the regions.

b.Reduction in inpatient capacity to treat SAM is a possibility in the context of COVID 19 if there is a need for additional space for an isolation/treatment ward. It will be important to strongly advocate that the capacity to maintain inpatient care for SAM is maintained as a priority life-saving service. Recommendations regarding bed spacing in the context of COVID-19 may also impact on capacity. Current advice for the inpatient treatment of SAM in this context is to space beds at least 1 metre apart in line with physical distancing guidance to prevent transmission. Any confirmed or suspected COVID 19 cases should be isolated and treated on separate wards away from other SAM cases.

Minimum requirements for infection prevention and control. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO (https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/publications/MinReq-Manual_2019.pdf?ua=1) 

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