Severe acute malnutrition: what is lacking in office practice


  • Ajay Gaur Department of Pediatrics, Gajra Raja Medical College, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
  • Akanksha Bansal Department of Pediatrics, Gajra Raja Medical College, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh



Child, Severe acute malnutrition, Anthropometry, Health personnel, Questionnaire, In-patient


Background: Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is the most concerned health problem in the developing countries. It is both a medical and social problem as it affects both the physical and psychological development of the child and creates a burden on the society. Various studies have been conducted to identify the prevalence of SAM and a lot of work is being done in the direction of in-patient management of SAM. However, what is more needed is early identification of SAM in office practice as well as its management in the community itself to decrease the in-patient burden and to have a targeted approach towards SAM children. The objective of the study was to assess the cognitive, psychomotor and affective aspect of health care workers doing office practice towards SAM and to sensitize them about anthropometry and early identification of SAM.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study where a pre-set questionnaire of 30 questions was given to the participants. Hands on demonstration to take Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), Weight and Height were also assessed.

Results: Significant lack in the knowledge of participants was seen in both cognitive and psychomotor-affective category in all three aspects of the basics, assessment and management of SAM. None of the participants was able to take MUAC, Weight and Height correctly.

Conclusions: Health care workers should incorporate the habit of taking anthropometry in office practice for early identification of SAM and also keep them updated with the latest guidelines for identification and management of SAM.


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Original Research Articles