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Nutrition needs assessment

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Key points
  • Do an initial rapid nutrition assessment as soon as possible. If possible, it should be coordinated and supervised by an experienced nutritionist.
  • Ensure linkages between the rapid health and nutrition assessment. Ideally the findings are presented in the same report describing the health and nutrition status of the new arrival refugee population.
  • The assessment should include secondary data on the nutrition situation, measure acute malnutrition, and assess key infant feeding practices.
  • MUAC and oedema are the indicators of choice to measure acute malnutrition in the initial phases of an emergency.
  • Screen breastfeeding in children younger than 6 months. This is important to identify specific additional needs.
  • Where under-nutrition is a concern, continue to screen new arrivals and hold regular mass MUAC screenings in camps and the community.
  • Health, nutrition and WASH are interlinked. Ensure these sectors coordinate closely at all levels.
  • Initial assessments should be multi-sectoral in character and the teams should include expertise in public health, nutrition, WASH and shelter / site planning.

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