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

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Laura Delfino

Emergency Nutrition Network

Normal user

22 Apr 2024, 15:53

Dear Colleagues,

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.

You can use the interactive dashboard feature to search by keyword and filter by publication type (such as reviews, original research, editorials), countries of interest, and selected topic areas. Users can view or download a PDF version by following the link at the top left of the dashboard.

Since our last update in January 2024, we have added 12 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings (168 total). In addition to several international reviews, this update describes recent findings and ongoing research from Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Portugal, Somaliland, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands, the United States, and Türkiye.

Click here to view the updated repository

Several new publications offer guidance for protecting IYCF and nutrition in humanitarian settings, including reviews of current guidelines to identify gaps. This update offers new guidance related to the safety of breastfeeding after exposure to chemical and biological agents used in modern warfare, including safety considerations during treatment and practical guidance for breastmilk testing, monitoring symptoms, safe use of expressed breastmilk, and the minimum amount of time before breastfeeding can safely resume. Other guidelines mention strategies to support breastfeeding, safe alternatives to breastfeeding, facilitating relactation and induced lactation, and complementary feeding in emergency settings. Another review describes facilitators and barriers to wet nursing, contemporary attitudes and beliefs, and strategies to facilitate and support wet nursing in emergencies. Researchers highlighted gaps in current literature, including a lack of practical guidance for small and vulnerable newborns, wet nursing, and strengthening health systems in humanitarian settings.

Other researchers examine the impacts natural disasters and climate change on IYCF. One study describes changes in maternity care and breastfeeding practices following hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico, highlighting the important role of healthcare workers in supporting breastfeeding following childbirth, especially when regular breastfeeding and other postnatal services are interrupted. One commentary describes three stages of protecting nutrition following a natural disaster, with specific recommendations for each stage. Another article explores the impact of climate change on breastfeeding, emphasizing the need for region-specific climate action plans that incorporate IYCF.

New publications on IYCF in displaced families include the first known report of successful adoptive breastfeeding in a refugee camp, the impact of financial assistance on child stunting among Syrian refugees in Türkiye, and strategies to reduce the high prevalence of diarrheal illness among young children living in internally displaced camps in Somaliland. Another study explored IYCF knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, practices among refugee, migrant, and asylum seekers in Portugal, noting key differences in IYCF practices between migrant and the host populations and highlighting the need for universal breastfeeding support in hospital settings.

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 July 2024.

The IYCF-E Repository Team

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