How can I help?
You can help ensure we have access to the ongoing support and resources necessary to respond rapidly to all the people who need us. Please support Médecins Sans Frontières today and help us continue to offer emergency medical assistance in all of the resource-poor contexts in which we work.
Tell your friends how important it is for Médecins Sans Frontières to be able to respond rapidly to young children suffering malnutrition.
Share this page with your friends on your Facebook wall, tweet this page to your followers on Twitter, or email this page to a friend, and help us reach more people in need.
Make your own MUAC bandPrint and cut-out a life-size Mid-Upper-Arm Circumference (MUAC) band to see for yourself how tiny a severely malnourished child's arms can be.
We use the MUAC band to identify the level to which a child under five years of age is malnourished before proceeding with a treatment plan.
What is malnutrition?
A young child is screened for malnutrition in Ethiopia. © Anne Yzebe / MSF
Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the disease if their mothers are unable to introduce sufficient food into their child's diet whilst weaning them off breast milk. This time between the age of six months and two years is one of rapid growth, when a diet lacking in essential nutrients can have a serious and profound impact on a child's long-term health and development.
Grave consequencesChildren suffering from malnutrition have an extremely compromised immune system and are 10 times more likely to die of treatable illnesses like chest infections or diarrhoea. If malnutrition is left untreated, a child's physical growth and mental development can become permanently impaired, and in severe cases they can lose their lives.
Our response relies on you
A Médecins Sans Frontières medical team works to stabilise severely malnourished children. © Lali Cambra / MSF