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MUAC and WHZ scores as indicators of SAM:

A consultation for operational agencies and academic specialists to better understand the evidence, identify knowledge gaps and to inform operational guidance 

Dates: December 2012

Venue: London, UK

Donors: SCUK, WHO, ACF, UNHCR  

Facilitators: The ENN and SCUK

ENN project lead: Tamsin Walters (ENN Associate) 

Summary

In December 2012, a two day meeting of academic specialist and agency representatives was convened in London, UK, and facilitated by the ENN to discuss technical and programmatic issues relating to the use of mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and weight for height (WHZ scores) in the treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) programmes.

A premise of the consultation was that there is no gold standard anthropometric indicator of acute malnutrition: MUAC and WHZ are two imperfect indicators used as a proxy to identify the same children and, when they do the proportions identified using both methods vary between regions and countries. The meeting was preceded by a detailed review of agency programme experiences of using these indicators as well as a review of the evidence base.

The meeting participants discussed the review in depth and agreed on 6 recommendations, as follows:

Meeting Report

Mid Upper Arm Circumference and Weight-for-Height Z-score as Indicators of Severe Acute Malnutrition (2012

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Chloe Angood (). MUAC and WHZ scores as indicators of SAM:. www.ennonline.net/ourwork/othermeetings/muacwhzscores

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