The Global Health Council’s 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health

Washington, DC, June 13–17, 2011

Innovations in micronutrient powder programs: opportunities to reduce child anemia

On Wednesday, June 15, the IYCN Project joined partners for a satellite session on innovations in micronutrient powder (MNP) programming to reduce anemia and improve the health of infants and young children.

Panelists discussed opportunities for leveraging existing health and nutrition programs to integrate MNPs, and shared innovative approaches for using these products to improve child feeding practices in Bangladesh, Bolivia, and Mongolia. The event opened with hors d’oeuvres and an MNP exhibit.


Addressing barriers to healthy child feeding in Malawi

On June 14, Janet Guta, IYCN Country Coordinator, Malawi, presented a poster on findings from the IYCN-led Malawi Infant and Young Child Feeding Study.

We aimed to increase our understanding of rural families’ feeding practices for children ages 6 months to 2 years of age, identify problems that impede adequate dietary intake in children, and test practices that mothers are able to adopt in order to improve infant and young child feeding using their own resources. findings revealed that with only basic counseling support, mothers could adopt many new feeding practices, such as preparing less watery porridge, substituting fruit for biscuits and sugary drinks, adding vegetables to porridge, increasing meal amounts, prolonging breastfeeding by emptying one breast and then offering the other, and feeding food from animal sources more often. The changes resulted in substantial increases in energy, protein, and vitamins A and C. This new understanding of current feeding practices, as well as the social, cultural, and economic contexts influencing these practices is informing the design of new and existing national programs to promote improved child feeding and ensure healthy futures.

Download a handout of the Malawi poster.

Visit the Global Health Council’s website for more information about the 38th Annual International Conference.