|Ready-to-Use Foods (RUFs) are highly fortified, oil-based nutrient dense pastes specifically
designed for the treatment of malnutrition. They are made from varying combinations of grains,
pulses and seeds, milk powder, sugar, oil, vitamins and minerals. They are precooked and
ready to eat straight from the pack. Click here to view more
| • Malnutrition is the result of poor access to appropriate food and harsh economic conditions rather than the absence of food. Today acute malnutrition affects approximately 80 million children under the age of 5 years, worldwide. Of these, 25 million children are affected by severe acute malnutrition, the most serious form of malnutrition, of which 2 million children die each year.
• Until recently, severe acute malnutrition was managed exclusively in inpatient centres and hospitals with treatment requiring long inpatient stays of six to eight weeks and, in the case of children, with their mother or family member present throughout. Long stays are disruptive to family life, often putting other family members at risk of malnutrition.
• The inpatient treatment is ineffective. In hospitals treating severe acute malnutrition, mortality rates are still running at 20-30%, the same as they were in the 1950s. This method of treatment is also extremely costly and resource intensive, limiting the numbers of patients able to access treatment. As a result, only a tiny fraction of those needing treatment ever received the care they need, resulting in unnecessary child deaths. It was therefore universally acknowledged that there was a critical need to develop a new and more cost-effective model.
• Up to 300 million other children – roughly 30% of the world’s children – suffer from chronic malnutrition, resulting in delayed development, stunted growth, increased ill health and poverty.
• Chronic malnutrition occurs during the first 1,000 days, the critical period, from conception to 24 months of age, when without adequate diversity of diet and range of nutrients, both mental and physical development is severely impeded – and this damage is irreversible. Without proper nutrition, a child is intellectually blunted, resulting in significantly decreased educational attainment – no matter what support may subsequently be provided. Furthermore, increased ill health, sub-optimal earning capacity and greatly reduced life expectancy all result in huge economic costs to the developing countries.
Based on an understanding of these issues, the Community-based Therapeutic Care (CTC) model to address malnutrition was born. (CTC is also known as CMAM, Community based Management of Acute Malnutrition)