From 2007 to 2011, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project strengthened counseling and support services in Haiti to improve the way mothers and other caregivers feed infants and young children. The project placed special emphasis on improving the quality of services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population to reach national consensus on guidelines for breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices that would ensure the HIV-free survival of more infants.
IYCN collaborated with the Haitian government and national and international partners to develop and disseminate new tools and job aids to strengthen health workers’ knowledge and counseling skills, and to improve the monitoring and supervision of counseling and support services.
The project actively participated in the series of emergency responses after the hurricanes of 2008, the earthquake of 2010, and the ongoing cholera outbreak of 2011, particularly by developing posters and radio spots and providing expert training to responders on supporting optimal infant and young child feeding within emergency contexts.
- In 2008, IYCN and partners convened a three-day workshop with more than 100 organizations to achieve national consensus on adopting the World Health Organization’s 2006 recommendations on infant feeding within the context of HIV/AIDS. Through a follow-up workshop, IYCN helped develop standards of care for health workers, reflecting the new recommendations.
- IYCN developed social and behavior change communication tools and training materials for promoting optimal feeding practices and trained health care providers to improve their performance, including a set of Creole-language counseling cards and take-home brochures on complementary feeding.
- IYCN used the new materials to support the training of more than 600 health providers, including 55 master trainers from US government implementing partner organizations and community health workers.
- The project created a unique training module, Infant Feeding Counseling in the Context of Early Infant Diagnosis, and used it to facilitate workshops for more than 500 trainers and health workers.
- After the January 2010 earthquake, IYCN and partners trained 200 master trainers and 300 health workers in infant and young child feeding, enabling displaced mothers to receive infant feeding counseling and support in baby tents within temporary settlements situated throughout earthquake-affected communities.
Download a brief summarizing IYCN’s activities in Haiti.
Photo: Ayiti Foto