31%

Reduction of anaemia risk with micronutrient powders for children under five

31%

Reduction of infant mortality with exclusive breastfeeding counselling for infants under six months

12%

Reduction in all-cause children under five mortality with vitamin a supplementation

The need

Despite progress in reducing child mortality, over five million children a year die before their fifth birthday.

Severe, acute malnutrition is responsible for almost 45% of all deaths of children under five. These deaths are mainly due to food insecurity and emergency settings.

Our solution

We focus on promoting exclusive breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding to maximize impact.

Early and exclusive breastfeeding helps protect against childhood infections, provides optimal nutrition, supports ideal growth, and is associated with reducing the prevalence of overweight and diabetes later in life.

We promote infant and young child nutrition by:

  • Complementing our maternal and newborn programs
  • Strengthening existing Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) programs and improving implementation and extending the reach to the community level
  • Focusing on behaviour change interventions for both providers and caregivers
  • Providing micronutrient powders for home fortification of complementary foods

Gender Equality

Our programs are underlined by gender equality and we promote an active role for fathers and men.

Gender norms reinforce the division of labour in the household where child feeding and care are often the responsibility of mothers or older sisters, grandmothers, and aunts, and male caregivers are discouraged from engaging in these activities.

Our IYCN program is designed to provide support and advice so that families and all caregivers can take the best possible care of small children, and where possible share the burden of care between both female and male family members.

Gender-sensitive communication strategies are used in all our IYCN programs to promote the role of fathers in caregiving, as well as supporting the mother while she engages in exclusive breastfeeding. This is done pictorially on printed behaviour change intervention materials, and also through the formation of fathers groups at the community level to encourage peer-to-peer dialogue and supportive behaviour.