The US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project built support within communities and households for improving the way mothers in Kenya feed their infants, young children, and themselves. The IYCN Project collaborated with the government of Kenya and USAID-funded partners to conduct an assessment of infant feeding practices in Kenya’s Western and Eastern Provinces, which informed several national strategies and programs.
The project also completed a literature review and a formative assessment on engaging fathers and grandmothers in infant and young child nutrition. Findings informed the design of an evaluation to test the effectiveness of interventions that engage fathers and grandmothers to improve and support mothers’ dietary and infant and young child feeding practices.
To complement these efforts, IYCN partnered with the USAID-supported AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance (APHIA) II and APHIAplus Projects to increase support for optimal infant feeding practices at the facility level and in the community.
- IYCN and partners conducted an assessment of infant feeding practices in Eastern and Western Provinces. Findings from the assessment informed a national infant and young child feeding communications strategy and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, United Nations Children’s Fund, and PATH adopted the project’s programmatic recommendations from the report.
- IYCN and partners developed a guide for training community-based workers and volunteers and trained 461 volunteer counselors to integrate infant and young child feeding into their existing community-based HIV activities. Three months after the training, counselors had provided support for improved nutrition to more than 34,000 families affected by HIV in Western Province.
- The project designed a US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Public Health Evaluation to evaluate the effectiveness of engaging fathers and grandmothers to improve maternal dietary and infant and young child feeding practices. As part of the evaluation, the project conducted a baseline study to determine current knowledge and practices related to support for recommended nutrition practices. The APHIAplus Project will complete the evaluation and share findings in 2012.
Photo: PATH/Evelyn Hockstein