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New UNICEF classification standards for malnutrition

This question was posted the Management of small and nutritionally at risk infants under six months and their mothers (MAMI) forum area and has 2 replies.

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Anonymous 40599


Normal user

10 Mar 2021, 09:41

I would like to know the new WHO and Unicef classification standards on the severity of malnutrition. Is it now recommended to use these for making decisions?

Alfred Zerfas

Founder - SingwithFred

Normal user

10 Mar 2021, 11:05

Refer you to the joint publication of WHO/UNICEF 

WHO Child Growth Standards and the Identification of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Infants and Children Joint Statement WHO/UNICEF, 2009.

Weight/height <-3 SD reference or MUAC <115 mm or Bilateral pitting oedema. This was for children aged 6-60 months; no estimates given for Children aged 0-5 months in this publication. 

Welcome others to add to this.

Dr Marko Kerac

Normal user

9 May 2021, 12:22

Dear colleague,

For sure you should be using WHO 2006 child growth standards in your programmes / decision making. See here for lots of information on these

See also however this piece "Severe malnutrition’: thinking deeply, communicating simply" for a discussion and relfection on interpreting anthropometry and the pros/cons of current case definitions.

Good luck!

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