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Issue 5, June 2011: New resources, grants, and program updates from Alive & Thrive

This edition of the Alive & Thrive (A&T) newsletter features a technical brief on the interaction of nutrition and infection, program updates, a press release on three small grant recipients, and summaries of recent infant and young child feeding (IYCF) research.

Featured resource

Early childhood growth: How do nutrition and infection interact?

The brief reviews available evidence on the effectiveness of nutrition interventions when infections are prevalent. It examines the impact of improved nutrition on a child's ability to fight infection and reduce the negative consequences of infection.

Click here to read the technical brief



Program updates

Ethiopia to launch Smart and Strong Families Initiative

The initiative will focus on "Seven Excellent Feeding Actions" that will be promoted in communities through:

  • Outreach by the Government of Ethiopia's health extension program
  • Family-oriented conversations organized by community-based women's associations and faith-based organizations
  • Male-focused mass media campaign (predominantly radio)
  • Advocacy activities encouraging parliamentarians, government officials, and journalists to promote accelerated stunting reduction strategies.

Viet Nam to be first country with IYCF franchises

What is meant by a franchise model for infant and young child feeding counseling?

Read answers to frequently asked questions about this innovative model

Bangladesh's future linked to improved infant and young child feeding

This just released advocacy booklet emphasizes the importance of supportive IYCF polices and effective programs in the first two years of life (the Window of Opportunity) to save children's lives and increase economic opportunity in Bangladesh.

Download the advocacy booklet



Alive & Thrive awards three small grants

The grants will strengthen delivery of interventions to IYCF practices. They will compare communication strategies for improving IYCF programming and study delivery channels for integrating interventions into broader programmatic initiatives.

Read press release

Featured video

The starting point: Alive & Thrive's baseline survey

Dr. Purnima Menon describes the process and challenges of collecting baseline data on infant and young child feeding in 11,400 households in three countries.

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.

The “dual burden” of malnutrition - both child stunting and maternal overweight in the same household – is common in Guatemala and associated with maternal characteristics

A cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative data for Guatemala indicated that 18% of households had at least one stunted child and an overweight mother. Risk factors identified for the coexistence of these 2 forms of malnutrition included maternal employment, indigenous ethnicity, short stature, and a greater number of live births.

Breastfeeding is nearly universal in 9 East and Southeast Asian countries, but rates of early initiation, exclusive breastfeeding, and continued breastfeeding at 2 years remains low

A cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative data from Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, People’s Republic of Korea, and Mongolia showed that more than 93% of all infants in these countries had ever been breastfed, but less than half were breastfed within one hour after birth, only 11-60% of infants 0-6 months of age were exclusively breastfed, and 28-67% of children were breastfed at 20-23 months of age. Breastfeeding practices could be improved by more effective intervention strategies.

Nutrition supplementation increases physical activity and exploratory behavior of infants in Mexico, and could improve physical and mental development

In a quasi-experimental study, Mexican infants who received multiple micronutrients or a fortified food supplement with multiple micronutrients and energy had greater physical activity and exploratory behavior than infants who received neither.

Fortified complementary foods and complementary food supplements fortified with micronutrients reduce iron deficiency and anemia among rural Vietnamese infants

In a study in which rural Vietnamese infants were randomized to receive a micronutrient fortified flour, a complementary food supplement, or no intervention from around 5 to 11 months of age, the 2 intervention groups experienced improved iron status and fewer days of illness.

Formative research is instrumental in designing locally-acceptable interventions that use micronutrient powders for home fortification of complementary foods

Formative research was conducted on the acceptability, utilization, and promotion of micronutrient powders (Sprinkles™) in villages in western Kenya, in preparation for a subsequent intervention that involved the direct sale of Sprinkles™ via community vendors. Sprinkles™ were found to be highly acceptable and easy to prepare and use. The formative research identified issues to be addressed prior to program implementation, particularly the development of locally appropriate visual and written instructions for usage of Sprinkles™.