From November 2007 to February 2012, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project worked to improve infant feeding counseling in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) clinics, strengthen nutrition-related components of therapeutic feeding centers and pediatric care and support services, and provide high-quality nutritional support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) through social centers and communities in Côte d’Ivoire.
Working in 17 of the country’s 19 regions, the IYCN Project collaborated with national health programs and nongovernmental organizations receiving funding under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Through these partnerships, improving counseling by building the capacity of health staff working in PMTCT sites became the cornerstone of our efforts. The capacity-building approach included a six-day training on infant and young child feeding followed by a two-day training on feeding within the context of HIV, and quarterly supportive supervision visits or phone calls to sites. Working with the National Program for Nutrition, one of our many partners, this approach is now being expanded across Côte d’Ivoire.
During its final two years, IYCN continued to move forward with many activities despite numerous obstacles and adversities resulting from the country’s post-election crisis. Ultimately, the project was able to make significant contributions toward preventing malnutrition of mothers and children and improving HIV-free survival of children.
- IYCN contributed to new national nutrition policies and guidance documents that are now used by nutrition, HIV, and OVC programs across Côte d’Ivoire to improve the support they offer to mothers and other caregivers.
- The project delivered a six-day training, adapted from the World Health Organization’s Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling: An Integrated Course, to 255 health workers from 27 PEPFAR sites and five national health programs.
- Following the training, IYCN conducted a two-day refresher training on integrating nutrition counseling support into PMTCT services at 92 PMTCT sites. These refresher trainings ensured a basic level of knowledge about infant feeding among 1,979 health workers and community agents.
- The project strengthened 30 nutritional therapeutic units and ten pediatric care and support centers by training 262 health providers to enhance their skills in caring for and supporting malnourished children.
- The project developed supervision data collection forms and used them during a total of 268 supervision visits and 75 phone calls with trained health workers and health district managers to assess health provider performance, identify problems with delivering nutrition services, and recommend improvements.
- IYCN trained more than 150 social workers at 30 social centers and more than 130 stakeholders from affiliated platforms to offer nutrition assessment, counseling, and support for OVC, and supplied the same 30 social centers with anthropometric tools for measuring the nutritional status of OVC and equipment to use in cooking demonstrations for caregivers of OVC.
Download a brief summarizing IYCN’s activities in Côte d’Ivoire.