Progress in delivering evidence-based clinical nutrition care has advanced significantly in high-resource settings. However, practice guidelines are not always globally relevant, especially for those working in low- or middle-income countries. There are significant gaps in nutrition care in resource-constrained contexts where specialty services, supplies and equipment, and skilled personnel may not be available to support comprehensive nutrition screening, assessment, and care.
We discuss the current priorities for infant and child nutrition in global health and development, describe the unique intersection of global health nutrition and clinical nutrition care, and highlight the persistent challenges in applying the best practices in resource-limited contexts. Additionally, we present how one international non-governmental organization, Operation Smile, has integrated clinical nutrition approaches into interdisciplinary care for pediatric patients with cleft conditions in preparation for surgical interventions.
Clinical nutrition care in global health is a nascent field, but its advancement to support nutrition care as a human right is vital. While efforts have been made to develop contextually relevant care protocols, there is a lack of global standards and consensus to support those working in settings where clinical nutrition expertise, monitoring tools, nutrition support modalities, and other resources are not available.
CPE Level: Level 2 (intermediate knowledge/experience)
- 4.2.7 Identifies and implements a plan to address opportunities and challenges.
- 8.1.1 Interprets and applies evidence-based literature and standards for determining nutritional needs of target audiences.
- 12.3.3 Takes into consideration any population and environmental disparities (e.g., sickness and disease, food and water access finances, air and water quality, ) when developing programs.
- Summarize the challenges in translating evidence and applying best practices for clinical nutrition care in resource-constrained contexts.
- Identify complementary aspects and competing priorities at the intersection of global health nutrition and clinical nutrition care.
- Discuss the critical gaps in the literature and approaches being used to provide high-quality nutrition care in the absence of contextually relevant global guidance.
- Emily LaRose
- Charlotte Steppling