Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) affects more than 20 million children under five at any given time.

More than chronic hunger, SAM is the most dangerous form of malnutrition and requires immediate treatment. Children with SAM have a very low weight to height ratio and can appear extremely skinny, known as “marasmus”, or very swollen, known as “kwashiorkor”. These children are at a high risk of reduced physical and mental development, brain damage and death if they do not receive proper medical treatment.


Africa is home to the largest percentage of SAM in the world.

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