Connecting to a Network of Half a Million
To further help identify and intervene early in the nutritional challenges of even more children, Children’s Mercy Kansas City connected with the Abbott Nutrition Health Institute (ANHI). ANHI creates educational programming and other evidence-based tools to enhance health outcomes. And, it is connected to a network of half a million healthcare professionals worldwide. This network allows ANHI to serve as an education and awareness-building partner for the MUAC z-score tape.
“Abbott is committed to helping raise awareness of pediatric malnutrition through education about the importance of early identification and intervention,” said Karyn Wulf, MD, MPH, Abbott medical director. “Through this partnership with Children’s Mercy Kansas City and Dr. Abdel-Rahman, we can connect clinicians around the world to this simple, but effective malnutrition identification tool to help accomplish that goal.”
Building upon this partnership, Abbott recognized that there was an opportunity to do more than just distribute the tool, but also train clinicians on how to use the tool. Through one of these educational training programs, the ANHI Growth Summit, Dr. Abdel-Rahman was able to demonstrate how to use this simple and effective malnutrition screening tool to 150 pediatricians, dietitians and clinicians from more than 20 countries around the world.
With the help of ANHI and its connections, the team has been able to further expand the reach of the MUAC z-score tape. ANHI offers MUAC z-score tape training materials, and an accredited self-study course, free of cost, as well as access to the MUAC z-score tape. More than 4,500 clinicians have accessed ANHI’s MUAC z-score tape educational resources so far.
With its global reach and impact on childhood nutrition and health, The MUAC z-score tape was recently recognized among Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in Wellness and Developing Nation Technologies for 2021.
Building Strong Partnerships for Health Equity
The unique partnership among Abbott, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Hallmark and Children International is a great example of four organizations bringing together their areas of expertise and resources to move toward stronger global health equity, and provide global scale and reach for early identification of childhood malnutrition:
- Dr. Abdel-Rahman at Children’s Mercy Kansas City conceived of and developed the MUAC z-score tape
- Hallmark conducted research and testing of the paper-based tool and developed manufacturing recommendations.
- Children International piloted the tape outside of the US, in Guatemala and India, and demonstrated the tool’s effectiveness to support hard-to-reach communities outside of hospital settings; and they are now scaling the tape to be used by communities and caregivers across nine countries.
- Abbott Nutrition Health Institute tapped its network of half a million healthcare providers to increase awareness and provide educational training on the tool.
Fighting malnutrition will require global, multisectoral partnerships to create more world-changing ideas like the MUAC z-score tape. Abbott’s goal is to help make sure more families, healthcare professionals and communities around the world have access to tools and resources that improve health and well-being.