Average Length of Stay (ALS)
English: average length of stay in the treatment program for recovered children aged 6-59 months
French: durée moyenne du séjour dans le programme de traitement pour les enfants guéris âgés de 6 à 59 mois
Portuguese: período médio de permanência no programa de tratamento das crianças recuperadas com idades entre 6-59 meses
Czech: průměrná doba trvání léčby u zotavených dětí ve věku 6-59 měsíců
What is its purpose?
The indicator measures the average duration of the children’s stay in the treatment program before they were discharged as “recovered”. It is an important sign of the treatment program’s quality.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Calculate the total number of days all children discharged as “recovered” spent in the treatment (i.e. from admission to discharge) and divide it by the number of children discharged as “recovered”.
Disaggregate the data by geographical area, gender and age groups.
1) The indicator does not require a separate survey – all data can be gained from the treatment program’s regular records.
2) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should never rely only on the information provided by caregivers and always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate or other documents; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents, it is essential that your data collectors are able to determine the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.
3) The length of stay in outpatient therapeutic programs (OTPs) usually ranges from 45 – 60 days (about 6.5 – 8.5 weeks). Considerably longer duration can indicate OTP’s limited quality.
Access Additional Guidance
- SCH (2015) Standardised Indicators and Categories for Better CMAM Reporting (.pdf)
- ACF (2011) Guidelines for the Integrated Management of SAM (.pdf)
- Global Nutrition Cluster
- FAO (2008) Guidelines for Estimating the Month and Year of Birth of Young Children (.pdf)