You are here:

Specialized nutrition

Thanks to a nutrition programm Haitian children get therapeutic food.

Thanks to a nutrition programm Haitian children get therapeutic food. © action medeor

action medeor offers several products to treat and prevent severe or moderate acute malnutrition and vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies.

Malnutrition is a serious medical condition caused by a deficiency of essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in a diet and it affects mostly women and children. The condition generally occurs in families with limited access to nutritious foods, not utilizing best practices for infant and young child feeding, with frequent exposure to infectious disease, and in emergency settings.

According to WHO nearly one-third of the deaths in children under five are related to malnutrition. Poor nutrition can greatly compromise a child’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to infectious diseases such as Malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. It was estimated that children suffering from severe acute malnutrition have a risk of death 9 times higher than well-nourished children.

For this reason, an adequate management of severe and moderate acute malnutrition is essential to improve child survival and to reduce the burden of disease. Therapeutic products, including Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) and Ready to Use Supplementary Foods (RUSFs) have been proven a key strategy of success.

Types of therapeutic food

RUTFs contain all the energy and nutrients necessary to allow for rapid recovery and are used in the treatment of children over six months of age with severe acute malnutrition without medical complications and appetite. They are high-energy, fortified, ready-to-eat foods which can be found as a paste or as a bar. Since RUTFs are not water-based, bacteria are less likely to grow in them. They are safe and easy to apply without close medical supervision and can be used in combination with breastfeeding and other best practices for infant and young child feeding. Therefore RUTFs most often are the treatment of choice for community-based management of SAM.

RUSFs are similar in design to RUTFs but are only designed to provide part of the daily energy and nutrient requirements. They are successfully used in the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).

We offer the following products:

BP-5 RUTF

It is used as emergency food in the first phase of disaster relief, emergency and preparedness particularly when people are displaced with no access to a general ration or local food. It is suitable for everyone older than 6 months.

pdfproduct description BP-5 (113 KB)

pdfdata sheet BP-5 (135 KB)

BP-100 RUTF

It is used in the rehabilitation and treatment phase of severely malnourished children over 6 months and adults (SAM).

pdfproduct description BP-100 (104 KB)

pdfdata sheet BP-100 (98 KB)

eeZeeBAR

For the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children older than 6 months of age in the community (MAM).

pdfproduct description eeZeeBAR (121 KB)

 pdfdata sheet eeZeeBAR (127 KB)

All products can be used facility-based and community-based, as they are, under guidance of trained health workers/qualified medical staff, also useable for in-home consumption. The therapeutic food can be eaten directly, or mixed with water to make porridge.

Nutrition definitions

Acute Malnutrition: occurs over a short period of time and shows symptoms of extreme weight loss (wasting) or bilateral pitting oedema of the body. Using the indicators weight-for- height, mid-upper arm circumference and level of bilateral pitting edema, malnutrition is differentiated in Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM): is the phase where the body is becoming alarmingly undernourished and the first signs through weight-loss and an increased risk of infections appear. MAM treatment is essential for preventing the condition to worsen and falling into the severe category.

Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM): is the stage where, due to a compromised immune system the risk of infection increases and existing infections are prolonged. Internal control systems stop functioning and the risk of death is very high. Medical treatment and the use of special therapeutic food are urgently needed for recovery.

Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM): this category includes all MAM and SAM cases. The WHO defines a nutritional emergency when GAM rates are over 15% or 10% with aggravating factors.