Product distribution in Burkina Faso.
Severe acute malnutrition
Severe acute malnutrition is characterized by major weight loss. Nearly 20 million children under the age of five years suffer from severe acute malnutrition. This form of malnutrition is the stage at which the risk of death for children under the age of five years is the highest. It requires medical emergency and rapid management. Acute malnutrition can take multiple forms including marasmus (severe emaciation) and kwashiorkor (edematous malnutrition). This type of malnutrition is diagnosed in children with a weight-for-height index of less than -3 Z-scores or an upper arm circumference of less than 11.5 cm or with bilateral edema.
Moderate acute malnutrition
Moderate acute malnutrition is defined by a more moderate weight loss compared to severe acute malnutrition. More than 30 million children suffer from moderate acute malnutrition. Due to their susceptibility to disease, these children are at a higher risk of death and can rapidly deteriorate to severe acute malnutrition, at which stage their risk of death is further enhanced. A child with moderate acute malnutrition has a weight-for-height index of between -3 and -2 Z-scores or an upper arm circumference between 11.5 and 12.5 cm.
Chronic malnutrition (stunting)
Studies estimate that 165 million children suffer from this form of malnutrition worldwide. An unbalanced diet enables the development of chronic malnutrition that results in the stunting of a child’s growth. As his/her immune defenses are impaired, he/she is at greater risk of diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, etc. A child diagnosed with chronic malnutrition has a height-for-age index of less than -2 Z-scores.