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Recommended total population that an OTP should service

This question was posted the Prevention and treatment of severe acute malnutrition forum area and has 2 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Hatty Barthorp

Global Nut Advisor / GOAL

Normal user

12 Feb 2013, 13:34

Does anyone know of a guidance figure provided and a source of information, for the maximum number of people in a catchment area that an OTP should aim to service i.e. it's recommended to have 1 x OTP/10,000 people. SPHERE doesn't provide guidance on population numbers, rather it states, 'outpatient programme sites should be close to the targeted population to reduce the risks and costs associated with travelling long distances with young children and the risk of being displaced to them' and 'more than 90% of the target pop is within less than one day's return walk (including time for treatment) of the prog site'.

Stien Gijsel

Normal user

12 Feb 2013, 14:31

It varies a lot pending on expected caseload, set-up and design of the program (GAM rates know in the area, you can then calculate the amount of beneficiaries malnourished at the moment, and thus how many will need services, taking expected coverage into account).
The larger the team, the more beneficiaries can be seen by day, compared to OTP services integrated within the health service (and thus caseload each day should be lower). I always use the maximum 1 hour walk as a reference point when opening a program (although not always possible), but at the same time prefer linking nutrition services to health services and thus look at how many health posts etc... are present in the area. if this is an emergency response, mobile teams would be a good solution for the beginning.
I am not aware of any source that gives a number as it is dependent on so many factors, and varies enormously.
I hope this was of any help, and answered your question. I think more information is needed from you if you need a figure to for example develop a proposal.

Hatty Barthorp

Global Nut Advisor / GOAL

Normal user

18 Feb 2013, 13:39

Thanks Stein for your response. Completely agree with your appraisal of each situation and the requisite number of services, taking into consideration case load, existing health facilities, access etc. I just wanted to see if there was a proxy bench-mark or globally accepted standard out there for reference.

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