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NEW Updates on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) October 2023

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Laura Delfino

Emergency Nutrition Network

Normal user

17 Oct 2023, 12:04

We are excited to announce a NEW interactive dashboard feature which allows users to search by keyword and filter by type of publication (for example, original research or systematic reviews), countries of interest, and selected topic areas (infectious disease, policy, or implementation). Users can switch from dashboard view to the original PDF view by following the link at the top left of the dashboard.

Since our last update in July 2023, we have added 21 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings (137 total). Several reviews report findings from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that are not in emergency settings but offer insights that are widely applicable. This update provides emerging evidence from Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India, Israel, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Click here to view the updated repository

Several new publications shed light on IYCF challenges faced by refugees at all stages of resettlement. A case control study explored factors that contributed to the early interruption of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers residing in five Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia. Another study surveyed healthcare workers to identify IYCF practices, attitudes, and challenges among Syrian mothers resettled in Turkey. Another study interviewed 16 Ukranian mothers about their experiences with IYCF since the onset of the conflict and following their relocation to the US or Israel.

Several new publications examine trends in child wasting and stunting across LMICs, exploring the relationship with IYCF practices and opportunities for targeted interventions. One study of a conflict-affected population in Yemen found significantly higher odds of wasting and stunting among children under 2 years of age, and among those who had never been breastfed. Another study found that declines in child wasting across Chad reversed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher burdens of wasting among children under 2 years of age that could not be explained by IYCF practices alone. Pooled analyses across several LMICs examined variations in child wasting and stunting by region, level of rainfall, and country-level factors (health spending, child mortality, and poverty). Results pointed to high rates of stunting and wasting at birth and before the age of 3 months, suggesting a need for targeted nutritional support beyond exclusive breastfeeding and a greater emphasis on pre-natal interventions.

New research continues to highlight the importance of integrating IYCF-E protections into disaster preparedness and emergency management. Case studies from the Honduras, Pakistan, and the United States illustrate how flooding, hurricanes, and unsolicited donations of commercial milk formula have negatively impacted breastfeeding in times of heightened food insecurity. New evidence demonstrates how breastfeeding may lessen the negative effects of in utero exposure to hurricane conditions on the gut microbiome of infants born after the hurricane. These results highlight the importance of protecting breastfeeding at all stages of disaster response and recovery.

If you know anyone who would benefit from these updates, please direct them to this link to sign up for our email listserv. We aim to publish updates every 3 months – look out for our next update in January 2024.

Happy reading!

-The IYCF-E Repository Team

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