Therapeutic food manufacturers have emphasised the need for making Community based programmes an integral part of the protocol for managing Severe Acute Malnutrition amongst children. In recent guidelines issued to the states/UTs, Ministry of Women & Child Development has asked for identification of children suffering from SAM and their referral to hospitals as a key priority.
In a communication to the Government, CMAM Association of India has welcomed the move for identification and management of SAM on priority in view of the rise in the incidence of SAM in the country in recent years.
“SAM is a critical health condition where a child is nine times more likely to die as compared to a healthy child. The recently published results of phase I of the National Family Health Survey-5 bring to the fore the urgency of the problem of SAM. 16 out of the 22 states and union territories that were surveyed, showed an increase in the incidence of SAM over the last 10 years. In about 8 States, SAM is higher in urban areas than in rural areas”, CMAM Association has stated. Along with the initiatives proposed by the Government, CMAM Association has asked for management of SAM cases which are without complications at the community level itself precluding the need for admission in Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres which can’t take the load of all the SAM cases.