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NEW Updates on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) January 2024

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Laura Delfino

Emergency Nutrition Network

Normal user

22 Feb 2024, 12:39

We are excited to share with you a new update of our IYCF-E repository. Below we share with you an outline of some highlights of recently published papers.

We also are very pleased 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 October 2023, we have added 18 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings (155 total).

Click here to view the updated repository

Several new publications focus on the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and forced migration on IYCF. One article offers a framework for protecting perinatal care and IYCF outcomes in the context of climate-related disasters and forced migration, with recommendations for targeted outreach and information sharing with rural migration hotspots. One study gathered perspectives from MCH workers in the hurricane-affected gulf coast areas of the United States. They described how donated formula quickly ran out and led to rationing and dilution with water, and how infrastructure damage, economic downturn, migration, and a diminished MCH workforce complicated efforts to reach families in need. Another letter to the editor describes the urgency of addressing severe child malnutrition in flood-affected areas of Pakistan, with targeted distribution of ready-to-use foods to health facilities in food-scarce areas.

Other researchers examine the cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability of humanitarian interventions to prevent child malnutrition. One study compared the cost of providing 6 months of infant formula vs exclusive breastfeeding in humanitarian contexts and estimated the total cost savings of exclusive breastfeeding. Another viewpoint article argues that nutritional supplement programs for young children that use chemical nutrient products should have a clearly defined endpoint so that they do not create an unsustainable reliance on commercial products and undermine larger efforts to increase local food availability.

New research on IYCF in the context of infectious disease examines both the impacts of pandemics on IYCF practices as well as the impact of IYCF practices on disease risk. One study examined the impact of breastfeeding on RSV-related respiratory infection among infants. Others continue to examine the persistence of COVID-19 immunity in breastfeeding mothers, with one study detecting SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in breastmilk up to one year post-infection. Interviews with mothers, policymakers, and healthcare workers in Kenya highlighted how the lack of clear guidance related to COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding continued to cause confusion and uncertainty. One editorial highlighted how socio-economic disadvantages can magnify breastfeeding inequities during public health emergencies, with specific examples from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 for our next update in April 2024.

-The IYCF-E Repository Team

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