Table 2

Programmes/interventions to promote optimal IYCF practices

ProgrammeTarget population/ countriesSettingHealth workforce involvedProgramme/intervention detailsOutcomes
Capacity building and programme-strengthening projects for health workers
(n=7)13 14 19 22 32 40 44
  • IDPs: Sudan, Syria

  • Refugees: Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon

  • Not specified: Greece, Iraq

  • Camps: Jordan

  • Fixed and mobile clinics: Jordan, Lebanon

  • Trained physician (doctors, nurses)

  • Paramedic staff (midwives, TBAs)

  • Community workers (facility and community based IYCF counsellors, local reproductive health worker)

  • Training sessions on IYCF

  • Malnutrition screening and treatment

  • Continuous follow-up and coordination

Coverage of training:
  • In Lebanon and Syria: >190 doctors and health workers27 29

Education and awareness activities for mothers
(n=7)13 14 18 19 21 24 32
  • IDPs: Pakistan

  • Refugees: Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon

  • Not specified: CAR

  • Camps: Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan

  • Community: CAR, Lebanon

  • Fixed and mobile clinics: Jordan, Pakistan

  • Healthcare facility: Jordan Pakistan

  • Trained physician (lactation specialists)

  • Community workers (nutrition officer, IYCF educator and a community mobiliser)

  • Counselling sessions on optimal IYCF-E practices

  • Educational materials and counselling cards distributed

  • Sensitisations on childcare practices and cooking demonstrations given to PLW

  • Distribution of hygiene and baby kits (soaps, blankets, baby spoons and cups for children), and bangles for mothers

Coverage of IYCF counselling
  • In Jordan: 30–40 mothers counselled/day9; 4690 PLWs and 919 mothers counselled in 10 months17

  • In Lebanon: 10 000 mothers were counselled in 1 year27

  • In CAR: 758/900 (84.2%) PLW participated16

Community networking and mobilisation
(n=8)13 14 19 20 23 32 40 44
  • IDPs: South Sudan, Sudan

  • Refugees: Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon

  • Not specified: Greece, Iraq, Yemen

  • Camps: Jordan, Kenya

  • Community: Lebanon, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen

  • Community workers (refugee mothers, community leaders, ‘leader mothers’ (mothers trained by promotors to teach neighbour women), and ‘neighbour women’ (chosen by community) as community mobilisers)

  • Training of community mobilisers by IYCF counsellors, educators, ‘promotors’, programme supervisors and IYCF coordinators on IYCF and the importance of exclusive breast feeding, nutrition

  • Dissemination of messages among mothers through household visits, demonstrations and information sharing within care groups

  • Screening and referring malnourished mothers

 Coverage of health workers training:
  •  In South Sudan, 320 ‘leader mothers’ trained IYCF18

 Coverage of IYCF counselling
  •  In Jordan: 4977 PLWs and 31 485 caregivers in 10 months17

  •  In South Sudan: 320 neighbourhood groups, reaching 3832 women18

  •  In Yemen: 50%–60% increase in awareness of mothers/caregivers on nutritious food along with an increase in utilisation of local foods for preparing nutritious meals for infants31

 Mass screening and SAM/MAM treatment
  •  In Yemen: 90% of children <2 years screened for SAM and MAM, 2563 children were treated for SAM, reduction in number of cases of SAM and MAM children; zero cases of SAM (MUAC<115 mm) in 13/68 model villages by the end of the project31

  •  In Sudan: 150 617 children screened for malnutrition42

  •  In Yemen: reduction in bottle feeding to almost zero31

Mother baby friendly spaces and mother to mother support groups
(n=10)10 13 14 18–21 32 43 44
  • IDPs: South Sudan, Sudan

  • Refugees: Albania, Croatia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon

  • Not specified: CAR

  • Camps: Albania, Kenya, Lebanon

  • Caravans: Jordan

  • Community: South Sudan, Sudan

  • Containers: Croatia

  • Primary healthcare centres: Lebanon

  • Trained Physician: paediatrician, lactation consultant

  • Community workers: relief workers, psychosocial workers, paediatrician, lactation consultant, IYCF counsellors and community mobilisers

  • Construction of mother–baby friendly spaces, caravans and mother baby centre for counselling and 24 hours support

  • Formation of mother to mother/caregiver support groups

  • Distribution of high energy biscuit, a bottle of water, and shawls for privacy

  • Distribution of food vouchers to mothers for nutritional security and psychological support

  • Screening of children for malnutrition

Coverage of IYCF counselling in baby friendly spaces and mother-to-mother support groups:
  • In Jordan: 15 600 mothers in 18 months in Jordan9

  • In Kenya: 581 facilitators trained in IYCF36

  • In CAR: 199 mothers/caregivers given psychosocial support16

Other outcomes:
  • In Jordan: 120–150 mothers/day visited baby friendly spaces in Jordan9

  • In Jordan: 50 women attended support group gatherings17

  • In Sudan: 14 272 infant/mother pairs attended MtMSG42

  • In Kenya: 713 MtMSG (2801 mothers/caregivers in MtMSG)36

Lactation support service
(n=3)10 13 19
  • Refugees: Albania, Jordan, Lebanon,

  • Camps: Albania, Jordan

  • Community: Lebanon

  • Trained physician (lactation specialists, obstetrician/gynaecologist)

  • Paramedic staff (midwives)

  • Assist mothers for re-lactation and in breast feeding difficulties (painful nursing, latching problems, low breast milk production and on correct positioning for feeding)

Coverage of counselling:
  • In Lebanon: 3150 mothers in 6 months27

Baby friendly hospital initiative
(n=2)13 35
  • Refugees: Lebanon

  • Not specified: Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Camps: Lebanon

  • Not specified

  • Labelling of maternity wards as ‘baby-friendly’ to support breast feeding

  • Capacity building of health workforce

  • Provision of tools and equipment to support breast feeding, reducing use of BMS

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, from 1997 to 1999:
  • Predominant breast feeding increased from 64.3% to 77.3%

  • Continued breast feeding at 2 years increased from 8.5% to 40.7%

Breast milk substitutes
(n=5)13 14 19 21 40
  • Refugees: Jordan, Lebanon

  • Not specified: Greece, Iraq

  • Camps: Greece, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon

  • Trained physician (lactation specialists and obstetrician/gynaecologist)

  • Paramedic staff (IYCF midwife)

  • Training of healthcare staff and mothers on artificial feeding

  • Counselling of mothers on importance of breast feeding, appropriate use of infant formula and on adverse effects of artificial feeding on infant’s health

  • Monitor and control the distribution of infant formula

  • Provision of BMS supplies and kits (cups and clean water) for safe preparation of infant formula

  • In Lebanon: 50 infants were assisted with artificial feeding support27

  • In Jordan: seven mothers received artificial milk supplies9

  • BMS, breast milk substitutes; CAR, Central African Republic; EBF, exclusive breast feeding; IDPs, internally displaced persons; IYCF, infant and young child feeding; IYCF-E, infant and young child feeding in emergencies; MAM, moderate acute malnutrition; MtMSG, mother to mother support groups; PLWs, pregnant and lactating women; SAM, severe acute malnutrition; TBAs, traditional birth attendants.