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Issue 2, April 2010: A&T announces small grants recipients, plus more program updates

Welcome to the second edition of the Alive & Thrive (A&T) newsletter. This issue features the announcement of recipients for our Small Grants Program, a video clip used in health worker training in Bangladesh, and the second Abstract Digest, with summaries of recent infant and young child feeding research.

Announcement of small grants recipients

A&T awarded grants to eight recipients for the first round of its Small Grants Program. The grants will test innovations for overcoming barriers to improved feeding practices.

Read grantee news and grantee profiles for more information 

Featured video

Building capacity

A&T is delivering infant and young child feeding (IYCF) services through BRAC's frontline workers. These services include counseling, coaching, and demonstration of improved IYCF practices. In this video, A&T's Senior Technical Advisor in Bangladesh highlights excerpts of the training video used for frontline health workers.

Watch the short video

Abstract Digest

In each issue of Abstract Digest, Alive & Thrive summarizes recently published research, highlighting key information about infant and young child feeding practices as well as program implications. Clicking on the title will take you to the longer A&T summary.

Increases during past 5-10 years in percentage of mothers who initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth associated with reduced under-5 mortality

Early initiation of breastfeeding is one of three child health interventions found to be significantly related to reductions in under-5 mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia during the past 5-10 years.

Composite complementary feeding index predicts linear growth of older infants in India

In rural India, length-for-age at 6-12 months of age was found to be positively associated with a composite complementary feeding index, which revealed that the major problems were delayed introduction of semi-solid/solid foods and very low dietary diversity, with particularly low intakes of meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

Economic downturns may decrease access to high-quality, non-grain foods, which could threaten progress in reducing child stunting rates

Indonesian households that spent more money on high-quality, non-grain foods were less likely to have stunted children, even after controlling for household socio-economic status. However, with the rise in food prices in developing countries, non-grain foods will likely become less affordable and malnutrition more prevalent.

Enrichment using ‘one-size-fits-all’ product could fill nutrient gaps in emergency food packages

Adding small amounts of lipid-based supplements could address multiple nutritional deficiencies in emergency food packages given to infants, young children, and pregnant and lactating women.

Additional micronutrients during pregnancy may improve birth weight and child growth and development

A group of experts reviewed the results of a meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing multiple micronutrients (MMN) with daily iron-folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. The experts concluded that replacing iron-folic acid supplements with MMN supplements will improve infant health outcomes, though the success of this strategy will depend on the improvement of related maternal and child health interventions.

Alive & Thrive

Alive & Thrive (A&T) is an initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve infant and young child feeding in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Viet Nam and to inform policies and programs around the world. A&T is a consortium of organizations, comprising AED-ARTS, BRAC, GMMB, IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute), Save the Children, University of California-Davis, and World Vision.