Technically, SAM is a condition that affects children from the ages of 6 to 59 months that have an extremely low weight for height measure, visible severe wasting and/or the presence of edema. But, for our purposes, it is more helpful to think of it as a child, who is so malnourished that he or she is literally on the brink of death. 20 million children are currently estimated to suffer from SAM, and most are in southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. All of this may seem very discouraging, but the good news is that SAM is not only preventable but also treatable. And that is where RUTF comes in.
HOW LONG DOES A CHILD NEED TO EAT RUTF?
Typically, a child needs to eat 10-15kg of RUTF over a period of six to eight weeks. That’s three packets of RUTF per day. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98% of children treated with RUTF were well-nourished after six months and 96% were well-nourished after a year. ¹
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial and can determine that child’s full growth prospects. That is why it is critical that we get RUTF to starving children today.