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|INDICATOR 6: MUAC for children 5-59 months and women of reproductive age 15-49 years|
Why this indicator? What will it measure and provide information for?
The MUAC is usually used by humanitarian health workers to screen and assess for acute malnutrition among children (5-59 months) and women of reproductive age (15-49 years).
At the individual level, MUAC can be used to initially screen individuals for admission to selective feeding programs or therapeutic nutrition care. For pregnant women of any age BMI is an inadequate nutritional index and MUAC is recommended. At the population level, it is recommended that MUAC information be collected in nutrition surveys for use in program planning. However, MUAC should not be used as the single measure in anthropometric surveys. Research is underway to determine appropriateness of using MUAC to estimate population level nutrition status. Excerpt from HTP, module 6: MUAC has been successfully used with low-skilled staff given training and supervisory support, and is especially suitable for use in the community. It does not require heavy material and can be used with a single cut-off for boys and girls. It is increasingly being incorporated into guidelines for the treatment of severe and moderate malnutrition. However, there are drawbacks to using MUAC in emergencies. The chance of inaccurate measurement is high due to differing techniques, and there is limited evidence documenting ethnic differences in MUAC measurements.
| What Sustainable Development Goal is the indicator connected to?
This indicator is not connect to any SDG goal
| Definitions and key terms
Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC): The circumference of the left upper arm, measured at the mid- point between the tip of the shoulder and the tip of the elbow (olecranon process and the acromium).
| Data and information required to calculate the indicator
* Numerator: children 5-59 months and women of reproductive age 15-49 years diagnosed with severe and moderate malnutrition
* Denominator: children 5-59 months and women of reproductive age 15-49 years surveyed
| Suggested method for data collection
* FANTA Project (for method)
* WHO (for definition & method)
* UN SCN (for method)
| Possible data sources
* Household survey
* Nutrition/health centers
* Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) is implemented every 5 years
| Resources needed for data collection
The quantitative and qualitative data collection, storage and analysis should be conducted by CARE and partners. Partners may include research / university partners. Data collection needs to be included in the monitoring and evaluation plan and budgeted for.
| Reporting results for this indicator: number of people for which the change happened
* Reporting Purpose:
* A change in the number/percentage of children (girls and boys) and women of reproductive age suffering from acute malnutrition
| Questions for guiding the analysis and interpretation of data (explaining the how and why the change happened, and how CARE contributed to the change)
This indicator measures changes in acute malnutrition among children 5-59 months and women of reproductive age 15-49 years. It contributes to documenting the success or failure of the actions taken to improve the nutritional status of children under five and women of reproductive age.
| Other considerations
MUAC is not the best index for use in nutrition assessment surveys, because among other things it cannot be used to determine if children are chronically malnourished. In some areas, chronic malnutrition may be more important than acute malnutrition. Therefore, it is highly suggested to use (when possible) the weight-for-height tool for measuring chronic malnutrition instead of the MUAC.