Nutrition Care as a Human Right: Implementing Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Care in Resource-Constrained Global Settings


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 will 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 will 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.

Learning Objectives

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

Performance Indicators

4.2 Exercises critical thinking when faced with opportunities and challenges

8.1 Interprets and applies current food and nutrition science in nutrition and dietetics practice

12.3 Designs and develops community and population health programs, interventions or initiatives to meet the needs of communities and/or populations


Emily LaRose

Independent Nutrition and Global Health Consultant

Emily LaRose Consulting

Charlotte Steppling

Director of Nonsurgical Programs

Operation Smile


Alena Clark


Colorado State University

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