Way forward for wasting programming in light of the evolving COVID-19 situation

This brief is intended for decision makers and implementers who have made adaptations to programmes for child wasting because of COVID-19. It is to guide the decision on the ways forward for wasting programming considering the evolving Covid-19 situation, notably when to resume standard programming as per national guidelines.

The guidance “Prevention, early detection and treatment of wasting in children 0-59 months through national health systems in the context of covid-19” (UNICEF and WHO)1 contains recommendations on how best to make adaptations to wasting programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The priority of this guidance is to ensure that widespread wasting programming remains available to children in need despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, given the known mortality and morbidity risk associated with wasting as a condition.

The adaptations mentioned in that guidance, although meant to be temporary, are recommended in the context of COVID-19 and are still relevant in several contexts affected by COVID-19 and should continue to be used as a reference for programmatic decisions.

If some adaptations have been made to wasting programming prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, or unrelated to the pandemic, this briefing note does not relate to those.

This briefing document is not a mandatory instruction but a reminder of what needs to be considered alongside context-specific factors.


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