Infant and Young Child Nutrition

MCSP continues work under begun under USAID’s predecessor Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) through the development of innovative, culturally resonant infant and young child nutrition approaches. We’re building on formative assessments and implementation science research to inform integrated nutrition programming to prevent and reduce all forms of malnutrition in 11 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

MCSP developed a nutrition brief and associated peer-reviewed article presenting key barriers to exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended full six months duration. The Program also published a brief on considerations for addressing junk food consumption within the context of infant and young child feeding (IYCF) programs in LMICs.

To guide rollout of the Baby-Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) in Kenya, MCSP – in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF – led the development of the first-ever, national-level BFCI Implementation Guidelines, BFCI monitoring and evaluation tools, and the IYCF counseling package. The Program also supported the development and rollout of community recipe books and materials for complementary feeding for community units. In addition, MCSP and the Ministry of Health implemented an initiative in Bondo sub-county to integrate maternal, infant and young child nutrition with family planning services.

See links below to resources:

  • Kenya Baby-Friendly Community Initiative Implementation Guidelines
  • Kenya Baby-Friendly Community Initiative External Assessment Protocol
  • Complementary Feeding Practices: Using Trials of Improved Practices to Improve Complementary Feeding in Migori and Kisumu, Kenya
  • Recipes for Complementary Feeding Children 6 to 23 months of Age in Kisumu and Migori Counties
  • A Counseling Guide for Complementary Feeding for Children 6-23 Months in Kisumu and Migori, Kenya
  • Integrating Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition and Family Planning Services in Bondo Sub-County, Kenya

The Program has been busy at the country level throughout Africa and the Caribbean:

  • Malawi: Collaborated with the Ministry of Health to adapt the World Health Organization’s 20-hour course on breastfeeding promotion and support for BFHI.
  • Mozambique: Conducted a formative assessment on barriers and beliefs surrounding IYCF in Nampula Province, developed a counseling guide and recipe book on IYCF, and continue to conduct on-the-job training and mentoring support for health workers from facilities in Nampula and Sofala provinces to improve growth monitoring and promotion.
  • DR Congo: MCSP is strengthening linkages between integrated community case management services and integration efforts to prevent and treat malnutrition through routine health services, with the goal of expanding and improving the continuum of care for malnourished infants and young children.
  • Tanzania: MCSP led a formative assessment to explore sociocultural and environmental cues to birth spacing and maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) practices, and identify barriers and facilitating factors for optimal family planning and MIYCN practices.
  • Pakistan: MCSP conducted a qualitative study to assess supply and demand for iron folic acid supplementation and quality of IYCF counseling in Jamshoro and Thatta districts.
  • Haiti: MCSP conducted a qualitative assessment to identify barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, the results of which will inform future nutrition programming.

MCSP also published an open access article on Program considerations for integration of nutrition and family planning: Beliefs around maternal diet and breastfeeding within the context of the nutrition transition in Egypt, which identified beliefs and cultural practices around breastfeeding and maternal diet and identified areas in which nutrition and family planning programming could be integrated.

Maternal Child Survival Program
Maternal and Child Survival Program