The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified criteria for early discharge of a severely malnourished child from the hospital prior to a full recovery. These can allow a child at low risk for complications to complete the recovery at home.


Criteria - all of the following are present:

(1) age >= 12 months of age

(2) completed antibiotic treatment

(3) has a good appetite

(4) has shown a good weight gain

(5) no peripheral edema

(6) nutritional supplements are taken for 2 weeks

(7) mother or caretaker not employed outside of the home

(8) mother or caretaker has been trained on appropriate care and feeding

(9) the family has adequate financial resources to feed and care for the child

(10) mother or caretaker is motivated to follow the advice and instructions given



• Nutritional supplements include electrolytes (potassium, magnesium), minerals, and vitamins.

• "Completion of antibiotic treatment" infers that the child is stable, has completed all treatment protocols and has no other problem other than the malnutrition.


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