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Field challenges in HIV/AIDS and infant feeding: Case Study from GIFA/ENN IYCF-E Project

Author: GIFA / ENN report (UNHCR)
Year: 2003
Resource type: Case study

Case study from: INFANT AND YOUNG CHILD FEEDING IN EMERGENCIES GIFA/ENN PROJECT (2003)

Researchers: Mary Corbett (Evaluation of Module 1) and Marie McGrath (Collation of case studies)

Case 28
Location: Tanzania
Source: Lucas Machiyba, UNHCR
Time: 2003
Issue: Field challenges in HIV/AIDS and infant feeding

Where we are working, there is considerable activity in promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS and highlighting the risks. With the emphasis on informed choice regarding infant feeding, if a woman currently decides not to breastfeed her child, this poses a practical dilemma for field operations. There are little resources and capacity to offer alternatives, nor are the conditions in the camp suitable for artificial feeding. In some cases, e.g. where a mother has died suddenly and left behind an infant, the community locate a wet nurse for the infant. This infant may then present to the health service a few days later, being wet nursed. Although there potentially are risks of HIV transmission to this child, field workers do not feel they are in the position to challenge this decision, particularly when there are no viable alternatives to offer. Increased awareness regarding HIV/AIDS issues in the camps has certainly contributed to a decline in wet nursing of infants.

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GIFA / ENN report (UNHCR) (2003). Field challenges in HIV/AIDS and infant feeding: Case Study from GIFA/ENN IYCF-E Project. www.ennonline.net/hivandinfantfeedingchallenges

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