From 2009 to 2011, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) Project supported the government of Nigeria’s efforts to reduce maternal and child undernutrition and improve the HIV-free survival of infants and young children. IYCN provided technical assistance to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, and other partners to review, update, and disseminate nutrition policies and guidelines, train health care workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its surrounding area councils, and enhance behavior change interventions targeting HIV-positive mothers and HIV-exposed children.

The project also supported a quality improvement approach to strengthen nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) services at prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and orphans and vulnerable children service sites in the FCT. As a result of IYCN’s role in Nigeria, the country adopted the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most recent recommendations on infant feeding within the context of HIV, and updated national guidelines were distributed to nutrition stakeholders across the country.


  • IYCN helped to review and update more than five key documents, including Nutritional Care and Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: A Resource Manual and the National Guidelines for Nutritional Care and Support for People Living with HIV and AIDS.
  • IYCN engaged with partners to develop and disseminate the national Consensus Statement on Infant Feeding in the Context of HIV, which reflects WHO’s 2010 guidelines on HIV and infant feeding.
  • The project assisted the FMOH to create an infant and young child feeding curriculum, and using a cascade training approach, trained 77 national- and state-level master trainers, who conduct six-day training workshops for health workers and community workers. 
  • IYCN initiated a quality improvement approach, emphasizing local leadership and ownership, in the Abuja Municipal Area Council of the FCT.
  • With IYCN’s support, the FCT identified key factors hindering the quality of NACS services, made recommendations for solutions, planned system-wide interventions to improve the quality of NACS, and developed measurement indicators.

Download a brief summarizing IYCN’s activities in Nigeria.

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Photo: PATH/Jay Ward