Twice a month, Concern’s mobile maternal and childhood health unit visits the village of Gbawi in Central African Republic in order to screen for malnutrition, test for and treat malaria and diarrhoea, and provide polio vaccinations. Photo: Chris de Bode / Panos PicturesTwice a month, Concern’s mobile maternal and childhood health unit visits the village of Gbawi in Central African Republic in order to screen for malnutrition, test for and treat malaria and diarrhoea, and provide polio vaccinations. Photo: Chris de Bode / Panos PicturesTwice a month, Concern’s mobile maternal and childhood health unit visits the village of Gbawi in Central African Republic in order to screen for malnutrition, test for and treat malaria and diarrhoea, and provide polio vaccinations. Photo: Chris de Bode / Panos Pictures

CMAM 20 years on: Going to scale in fragile contexts

A conference for practitioners hosted by Concern Worldwide on 22–25 March 2021

CMAM 20 years on: Going to scale in fragile contexts
A conference for practitioners hosted by Concern Worldwide on 22–25 March 2021

This conference marked 20 years since CMAM was first piloted by Concern in Ethiopia. The conference sought to examine the barriers that are still – despite much progress – preventing acutely malnourished children from receiving the care they need, and to identify how CMAM can be adapted further to overcome those challenges. 

In 2019 an estimated 47 million children were wasted. Just over a quarter of that number (11 million) had received treatment but figures suggest a staggering 35 million children are still not getting the treatment needed to prevent them from dying or facing disability for the rest of their lives as a result of acute malnutrition.   

While not all of the problems facing us 20 years on from the inception of CMAM are new, many of them have intensified over the last two decades. And in the last year we’ve had the COVID-19 pandemic which has exposed the vulnerability of global and regional food and health systems. The CMAM conference comes at an urgent time for the treatment of child malnutrition and gives a chance for experts in the field to adapt the model to changing contexts and improve efficiency. 

Reports & reading

The full report and six "Preparing for Scale" papers, outlining practical considerations to scale up critical adaptations to managing wasting, will be available on this page by 30 June 2021.

READ: Community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) Conference 2021 (Field Exchange summary of conference)

Watch: Opening Address by Minister Colm Brophy

Watch: CMAM 20 years on

An overview of the history of CMAM over the last 20 years with an introduction by John Traecy, Chairperson of the Concern Worldwide Board of Directors.

Conference sessions

Monday 22 March

Where are we now & what still needs to be done?

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Full session playlist from Day One

Tuesday 23 March

Overview of adaptations: are they ready to scale?

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Full session playlist from Day Two

Wednesday 24 March

Barriers and enablers to scale up: government perspectives

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Full session playlist from Day Three

Thursday 25 March

Other critical issues for wasting management, conference summary, and next steps

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Full session playlist from Day Four

Conference case studies (English versions)

Conference case studies (French versions)

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