Child alert: Severe wasting

Also known as severe acute malnutrition, severe wasting is an overlooked but devastating child survival emergency.

Madagascar. A woman carries her young son while he eats a ready-to-use therapeutic food.


Most people have never heard of wasting, also known as ‘severe acute malnutrition.’ But it is one of the leading underlying causes of preventable deaths in young children. Conflicts, and climate crises that destroy access to healthy diets, are causing that number to rise. But even in fairly stable countries, child wasting has been on the rise.

‘Severe wasting: An overlooked child survival emergency’ looks at some of the causes behind this rise, the rising cost of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), and the need to massively scale up the early prevention and treatment of child wasting.

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