The psychosocial component of Follow-up of Severely Malnourished Children (FUSAM) was developed taking into consideration the psychosocial impact of Severe Acute Malnourished (SAM) on children, their mothers and their relationships. Interventions were delivered despite numerous challenges and under adverse conditions. It had positive impacts, some expected and others not, and will require further study. In the meantime, the programme is being taken forward and adapted with the support of the Ministry of Health and Population.
The FUSAM project was innovative given the lack of clear national policies or guidelines on psychosocial interventions in nutrition programmes. There are multiple benefits in including a psychosocial component alongside SAM treatment, but the results show that it is unrealistic at this stage to expect psychosocial interventions to address the impacts of SAM.
This paper is part of a special edition of ‘Humanitarian Exchange’, co-edited with Anne Harmer, Manager of Elrha’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme, focusing on mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian crises.
K. Le Roch, C. Bizouerne (2018) Designing and implementing psychosocial interventions for children with severe acute malnutrition: Action contre la Faim’s experience in Nepal in Humanitarian Exchange No 72 July 2018, p 32-34. London: Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) Overseas Development Institute