10th Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN) Congress on Diarrhoea & Malnutrition

Blantyre, Malawi, August 12-16, 2009

This conference featured optimal infant feeding practices and other solutions to prevent malnutrition and address diarrheal disease in the developing world. Visit the CAPGAN website to learn more.

Highlights included:

New IYCN research in Malawi reveals barriers to feeding infants during illness

August 14, 2009

As part of a panel on infant feeding, Dr. Beatrice Mtimuni from Bunda College of Agriculture presented the findings from a recent research study which aims to understand infant feeding practices in Malawi. In collaboration with the IYCN and World Bank, Bunda College just completed the first phase of the study. Results revealed how mothers feed their babies during and after illnesses such as diarrhea, when children’s needs for food and fluids increase. IYCN and its partners will use the findings to advocate at the country and international levels for increased attention to practices that ensure adequate nutrition for infants and young children.



IYCN promotes emphasis on prevention of severe acute malnutrition

August 15, 2009

During a poster presentation, IYCN’s Albertha Nyaku made a case, based on published literature, for investing in prevention of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rather than in the universal introduction of SAM treatment. The presentation highlighted how investing in resources to fight common childhood illnesses could save more lives at a lower cost than SAM treatment. Redoubled efforts to prevent and manage diarrhea, measles and malaria, coupled with preventive nutrition interventions to reduce chronic and moderate acute malnutrition, are preferable investments on epidemiologic, economic, and ethical grounds.

Download The Case for Preventing Malnutrition Through Improved Infant Feeding and Management of Childhood Illness.


PATH highlights integrated approaches to diarrheal disease

August 14, 2009

PATH participated in a panel on “Diarrhoea Prevention and Surveillance.” Evan Simpson presented on the Enhanced Diarrheal Disease Control Initiative and PATH’s collaborative efforts to control diarrhea and its leading cause of childhood death, rotavirus. Simpson discussed controlling diarrheal disease with a comprehensive strategy, including breastfeeding and improved nutrition, and the need to raise awareness around this global health issue as well as the policy and implementation challenges associated with it.


PATH calls for action to stop diarrheal disease

Also at the conference, IYCN’s partner, PATH, featured its Call to Action to raise awareness and catalyze momentum during a panel discussion on vaccines and integrated approaches to address diarrheal disease. On August 13, a forum of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Blantyre featured the Call to Action as well, while bringing local NGOs together to discuss how to increase uptake of infant feeding, water and sanitation, and treatment efforts that can defeat diarrheal disease. To learn more about the Call to Action and projects aimed at building healthier communities by fighting diarrheal disease, please visit PATH’s Resources for Diarrheal Disease Control website.