Somali Guidelines for integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition – IMAM protocol

Somali Federal Republic, Ministry of Health, 2021

The management of acute malnutrition is a vital link in reducing mortality and promoting optimal nutrition and development for Somali children. There is considerable regional variation in the burden of acute malnutrition. Children in the area most at risk of conflict, displacement, and a lack of access to basic services typically experiences a chronic nutrition crisis. Globally; children with wasting and stunting are approximately 49 million and 149 million respectively. In Africa, the estimated prevalence of wasting is 14 million while stunting is 58.8 showing that undernutrition remains a serious public health problem in the Africa. The Somali Health and Demographic Survey (SHDS 2020) has shown that malnutrition statuses of Somali children under the age of five are 28% stunted, 12% wasted and 23% underweight. Also, The Somalia Micronutrient Survey 2019 showed that good nutrition is still out of reach for large numbers of Somali children under the age of five. The survey revealed that 34% of children under the age of five suffer from vitamin A deficiency, 43% of anemia and 28.6% of iron deficiency anemia; 47% of pregnant women are also anemic. In 2010, the Ministry of Health and Human Services developed the first integrated management of acute malnutrition protocol (IMAM protocol) and later in 2018, the ministry developed the second edition of the IMAM guideline in line with WHO guidelines of management of acute malnutrition.

Use of the IMAM package will help to streamline management protocols and improve the quality of the services provided. The guideline provides an opportunity for all health care providers to realize the importance of proper management at health facility and community levels, ensure successful diagnosis and treatment and, consequently address one of the objectives and goals in the National Development (NDP-9) as well as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on reducing child mortality.

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