A comparison of mid upper arm circumference with other Indices for discharge from community-based management of malnutrition clinics in Jigawa State, Nigeria
Background: Community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) program has saved millions of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) globally. World Health Organization recommended discharge indices include Midupper arm circumference (MUAC) =12.5cm, =15-20% weight gain and weight-for-height Z score (WHZ) =-2. We compared MUAC with WHZ and percentage weight gain as discharge criteria from CMAM.
Methods: It was a community based cohort study of children aged 6-59 months with SAM discharged from CMAM clinics in Jigawa State, Nigeria. Socio-demographic data, nutrition history and anthropometry were recorded at enrolment and discharge.
Results: Of a total of 405 children studied, 209(51.6%) were females and had a peak age group of 12-23months (43.7%, range 6-42 months). At discharge, 353(87.2%) had MUAC = 12.5cm while 231(57.0%) and 204(50.4%) had percentage weight-gain =15% and WHZ=-2 respectively. There was weak agreement between MUAC and WHZ (agreement 50.8%, ê=0.012) and MUAC and percent weight-gain (agreement 54.8%, ê=-0.004). Children aged between 11-23 months (OR 2.12, p=0.006) and 24-35 months (OR 2.60, p=0.002) had increased risk of discharge with inadequate percentage weight gain. WHZ <-3 at enrolment was associated with increased risk of discharge with WHZ <-3 (OR 3.21, p<0.001) and reduced risk of discharge with inadequate percentage weight gain (OR 0.45, p<0.001). Age sex, WHZ at enrollment were not associated with MUAC at discharge.
Conclusion: The use of MUAC alone as discharge criterion allows a significant proportion of children still needing urgent care exiting CMAM clinic prematurely. Stratifying these criteria may lead to better recovery before discharge.
Keywords: malnutrition, Community management of acute malnutrition, Mid upper-arm circumference, Weight-forheight Z score.