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IYCF, CMAM introduction for programmers in Food Assistance

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 1 replies.

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Anonymous 3677


Normal user

22 Mar 2017, 10:54

I'm supporting a programme which includes BSFP, TSFP and some work for Chronic Malnutrition.

However, my managers have literally never heard of IYCF, and don't know the difference between CMAM and iMAM. These are highly qualified professionals who understand the nature of food assistance. But I'm not sure if they understand integration for nutrition assistance, and in this respect systems strengthening?

Advice please - how do explain and/or introduce concepts of IYCF, CMAM, IMAM etc. for inclusion in BSFP/TSFP programming? Where do I begin, and how do I introduce these in a way that is digestible and that the lessons will stick so that these principles will be integrated into programme planning?

Alessandro Iellamo

Emergency Nutrition Adviser

Technical expert

23 Mar 2017, 06:53

Thanks a lot for your very valid question....that calls for integration and cross cutting area we we do keep talking but in reality we still are uneasy implementing....

Now, based on my experience, and looking at your question....the first thing that anyone of your team should understand and appreciate is the critical role that optimal IYCF practices have in preventing malnutrition, morbidity and mortality...even and let me say more so during emergencies...and that supporting those practices or re-establishment of the same would have a great impact in the prevention of acute malnutrition....and chronic malnutrition (stunting)

So few and concrete slides/discussions/data points on this and how the child benefits across the first 2 years of life will certainly help your BSFP/TSFP managers...

second, I would see (based in the context where you are operating), what are the key IYCF messages that should be given during BSFP/TSFP distributions...for example....I would even go farther and ensure that IYCF assessment/counselling services with CMAM screening would be a component of your programming, then appropriate referrals to specific support systems....

The main/core message for the team is that we have to provide all possible support so to help the mothers/caregivers achieve those optimal practices within the limits and context where you are operating...

More if needed

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