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en-net update

By Tamsin Walters, en-net moderator

Over the past three months (Nov 2016 to Jan 2017), 47 questions have been posted on en-net, generating 81 responses. The forum areas for Prevention and management of severe acute malnutrition and Assessment generated most discussions. Eleven vacancy announcements have been posted, which have accumulated 3,390 views on the website.

SAM treatment topics have included use of micronutrient supplementation, vitamin A supplementation, and deworming in severely malnourished children; the latter has been the subject of a number of recent reviews and research which we plan to feature in Field Exchange 55.

In the assessment forum, one contributor sought reasons for higher prevalence of undernutrition in boys than girls observed in Afghanistan; a finding shared by a second contributor from Nepal A gap highlighted in one exchange regards mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) cut-offs in pregnant women and at what prevalence does MUAC <230mm become of public health concern. Contributors reflected that while there are plenty of studies showing that short mothers have more difficult labour with higher maternal and perinatal mortality, the effect of nutritional supplementation in these low MUAC women has never been clearly shown..

A post in the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area, raising concerns regarding a report recommending to make infant formula available for routine distribution in camps for refugees and migrants in Greece, prompted discussions and was picked up by UNICEF in Greece. The matter was taken to the Health working group in Greece, chaired by the Ministry of Health, and the report recommendation subsequently removed in keeping with the country joint statement and operational guidance, which accommodates needs-based, targeted infant formula use.

A December internal review found that 70% of French en-net users over the last six months were from French speaking Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) countries. The top 10 countries using French en-net are: 

1. France (20%) 

2. Senegal (7%) 

3. Cameroon (6%) 

4. Niger (5 %) 

5. Mali (5%) 

6. Congo (DRC) (5%) 

7. United Kingdom (4%) 

8. Haiti (4%) 

9. Belgium (2%) 

10. Burkina Faso (2%) 

The en-net team has been working to assess the quality of translation and improve the en-net mirror French site over the past few months. Due to ongoing challenges with the automatic translation platform resulting in incomprehensibility of some posts, we are now reviewing every post and correcting the French translation systematically. This means that those subscribed to the French site will receive immediate notification of new posts in automatically-translated French, but within 1-2 days they can visit the website to see the corrected version. We hope this system will lead to improvements in user experience and make the site a more valuable resource for French speakers. As usual, we very much welcome feedback on the site and are grateful for any suggestions to make it increasingly accessible and useful for French speakers. All feedback is welcome to

Finally, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) recently conducted a study on whether ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF) should be added on the World Health Organisation’s  (WHO) Essential Medicines list (EML), which concluded that this would be an important step to advance SAM treatment coverage globally. The study is summarised in this edition of Field Exchange. ACF announced their application to the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines for RUTF to be accepted to the EML on en-net in early February, and requested the en-net community to get involved through writing letters in support by 24 February 2017. This announcement created a vibrant discussion on en-net; a summary of this exchange is included as a postscript to the ACF article.

To join any discussion on en-net, share your experience or post a question, visit en-net or French en-net. 


Jodine Chase, Yolande C., Karleen Gribble, Patti Rundall, Adriana Zarrelli, Andre Briend, Mark Myatt, Elisa Pozzi, Ahmad Nawid, Giorgio Cortassa, Mahesh Sarki, Shima Mansor, Andre Briend, Yusuf Abdi Lare, Hamed Abdu, Mushtaq Hassan, Joseph Iotesire, Jessica Bourdaire. 


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Reference this page

Tamsin Walters (2017). en-net update. Field Exchange 54, February 2017. p85.