Case Studies and Success Stories

Learning Paper: Operationalization of Family MUAC, a case study from Save the Children Myanmar

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Save the Children International

Nutrition services are included in Myanmar’s basic health care package. In 2017, treatment and operational protocols for integrated management of acute malnutrition were launched by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to provide technical guidance for the prevention and management of acute malnutrition. During this same period, a number of simplifications and modifications to detection and treatment protocols have been developed globally to improve effectiveness, quality, and coverage and reduce the costs of caring for children with uncomplicated acute malnutrition. One of these approaches which aims to improve coverage of early detection for acute malnutrition is the Family-MUAC. This approach consists of training and equipping
caregivers to screen their own children using a Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape and to check for nutritional oedema.

Save the Children started piloting the Family MUAC approach in Myanmar in 2020-2021 in Northern Shan State to provide evidence about the feasibility of this approach. Learnings from this pilot were then used to scale up this approach in Peri-Urban Yangon and Rakhine State. After an implementing period of three years, qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed to present the Family MUAC journey in Myanmar. This learning paper describes how the approach was initiated at national and sub-national levels; the different typologies that were used in the roll-out; the training methodologies and platforms used; and the key results of the approach. It then provides recommendations for the next steps

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