What is SAM
According to UNICEF, ‘Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is the most extreme and visible form of undernutrition'.
SAM is defined by very low weight for height (below -3 z scores of the median WHO growth standards), by having a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) < 115 mm, by visible severe wasting or by the presence of nutritional oedema. Decreasing child mortality and improving maternal health depends heavily on reducing malnutrition which is responsible for major deaths among children under 5 years of age.
Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) is a treatment protocol wherein the care givers of the child are trained in proper nutritional habits, hygiene and breast feeding practices. The child is provided emergency nutritional supplement in the form of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for 8-12 weeks and medicines to treat any illnesses like diarrhea and edema which are found in many Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) children.
More than 80 lakh children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in India, according to the Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
A SAM child is 11.6 times more likely to die than a healthy child.
An estimated one-third of all wasted children in the world live in India.