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FAMILY-MUAC APPROACH: Challenges and limits

This question was posted the Simplified Approaches for the Management of Acute Malnutrition forum area and has 4 replies.

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This question relates to COVID-19.

Ilaria Di Modugno

Normal user

5 Apr 2021, 18:30

Hi to everyone, 

when is the Family-MUAC approach not recommended? May you please share with me some articles and evidence in which this aspect is highlighted?

Moreover, I need some articles and evidences which explain the reason why it is better to call the approach Family-MUAC instead of Mother-MUAC.

I will appreciate receiving a quick answer.

Thanks a lot,


Charles Ochaya

Maternal Child Health and Nutrition Officer

Normal user

6 Apr 2021, 12:31

Good Morning Everyone on this platform,

Just to reflect  upon a similar question that was posed by a district health official from Karamoja when we had a partners coordination meeting, the family MUAC approach is a good adaptation but may not be very possible to implement in areas with chronic food insecurity  and low literacy and knowledge levels in regards to malnutrition like Karamoja where some caregivers prefer that a child stays longer on the MAM treatment so as they continue getting the food that is ideally prescribed to help a malnourished to recover from severe weight loss.

In circumstances where it needs to be applied, there should consistent growth monitoring of the child by qualified health workers and also intensive health and nutrition education to the entire family with emphasis that Malnutrition is a disease and that food acts like medicine that should only be consumed by a sick child suffering from MAM 



Ilaria Di Modugno

Normal user

10 Apr 2021, 17:19

Tks a lot, do you have scientific or operational articles to share with me?

Ilaria Di Modugno

Normal user

10 Apr 2021, 17:20

Tks a lot, do you have scientific or operational articles to share with me?

Grace Funnell

Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF

Technical expert

28 Jun 2021, 14:31

Dear Ilaria,

Am sharing with you the link to a number of resources, including Quick Guidance on the Family MUAC approach that includes information on when this approach should be considered along with a summary of the evidence and links to articles.

I don't believe you'll find any citations that directly address the question on Family-MUAC vs Mother-MUAC; however, given that Family MUAC is not limited to just mothers, but also fathers and other caregivers this name has been widely adopted.

Warm regards,

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