Author: Carmel Dolan
In this episode ENN Technical Directors Tanya Khara and Carmel Dolan are joined by Martha Mwangome from the Kemri / Wellcome Trust research programme in Kenya and Dr Sophie Moore from King's College London to talk about the Wasting and Stunting Technical Interest Group (WaSt TIG).
The key question they interrogate is whether the distinction between wasting and stunting is justified or helpful. They use several analyses conducted by the WaSt TIG as a basis for answering this question.
Today, over 50 million children are wasted, which comes with an elevated risk of death. Even more, wasting prevalence hasn’t declined in recent years. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) are calling for a focus on how to prevent wasting to complement existing evidence-based treatment of children who are already affected.
Since early 2018, the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) has been working—through the MQSUN+ project—to improve the understanding of what is needed to prevent children from becoming wasted. ENN carried out two reviews as part of this project. We started with a rapid review of the state of knowledge about ‘The Aetiology of Wasting’ and then moved into a more detailed review of what the literature tells us about the ‘Current State of Evidence and Thinking on Wasting Prevention.’
Some of you will know that ENN has been coordinating a project with the expert steer of around 30 child growth and nutrition specialists from academia, donor and operational agencies. Collectively, we are known as the Wasting-Stunting Technical Interest Group (WAST-TIG) and we have been interacting across various work streams for a few years thanks to generous funding from Irish Aid and USAID OFDA.