top of page
cover guideine horizontal.jpg


One essential element of the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting is to update and develop normative guidance to support governments on the prevention and management of wasting and nutritional oedema (acute malnutrition) in all contexts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the lead agency at a global, regional and national level to update this normative guidance and will then work with other UN agencies and key national stakeholders, to support the review and update of policies including national guidelines and future research on wasting/nutritional oedema (acute malnutrition) under the Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025).

The WHO guideline (the 'what'), which includes evidence-based recommendations and good practice statements, will be accompanied by operational guidance (the "how to") with documents and tools for implementation.


November 2023: The full guideline is now available on the WHO website and MAGICapp.

The WHO guideline for the prevention and management of wasting and nutritional oedema (acute malnutrition) is divided into 4 sections:

  1. Management of infants less than 6 months of age at risk of poor growth and development

  2. Management of infants and children 6-59 months with wasting and/or nutritional oedema

  3. Post-exit interventions after recovery from wasting and/or nutritional oedema

  4. Prevention of wasting and/or nutritional oedema

This is the first WHO guideline focusing on prevention and management of wasting and nutritional oedema. It highlights the vital importance of investing in both of these aspects to truly have an impact on reducing prevalence and negative impacts of wasting and nutritional oedema on children and their families throughout the world.

An accompanying Briefing Note summarizing the recommendations and main messages from the guideline can be found HERE

Wondering how the new WHO recommendations relate to the package of interventions known as "Simplified Approaches"? A supplementary Briefing Note covering this topic can be found HERE

You can also watch the webinar hosted by the Global Nutrition Cluster on the management section of the guideline HERE

Click HERE to listen to the guideline launch Event co-sponsored by FCDO and ICAN UK as part of the UK’s Global Food Security Summit.


WHO_wasting guideline_Social_v2.jpg

MAGICapp is a web-based tool that helps users and organizations to author, publish and update digitally structured Clinical Practice Guidelines based on best current evidence


There are a number of WHO guidelines already using MAGICapp such as those for COVID-19, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), self-care interventions, amongst others.


Reflecting commitments under the UN Global Action Plan on Child Wasting (GAP), WHO and UNICEF have established a partnership to collaborate on a) prevention, early detection and management of wasting and nutritional oedema in children by providing more up-to-date global normative and operational guidance, b) support to national governments in adapting their national guidelines, and c) coordination of the wasting-related research agenda.


To assist in these efforts, an official UNICEF-WHO Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Wasting  and Nutritional Oedema (Acute Malnutrition) has been formed after an open call and a selection process to ensure representation predominantly of national governments, organisations as well as civil society organisations and the research community.

bottom of page