Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) - What Does the Science Tell Us?
A scientific repository
On this page you will find a repository that provides an overview of what peer-reviewed journal articles currently state on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in an emergency context. It is compiled for the IFE Core Group by the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is maintained in partnership with the Emergency Nutrition Network and with financial support from the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.
The repository aims to provide the reader with a snapshot of what is published with updates on a quarterly basis. All publications provide emerging evidence related to IYCF in emergency settings such as natural disasters, conflicts, and displacement including refugee settings. This repository originated from the identified need to develop a system to compile and share new IYCF-E research and build a virtual library of some of the most recent findings.
NEW (OCTOBER 2023): the repository now features an interactive dashboard which allows users to search by keyword and filter by type of publication, countries of interest, and selected topic areas (infectious disease, policy, or implementation). Users can switch from dashboard view to the original PDF view by following the link at the top left of the dashboard.
The full repository provides summaries for 155 scientific publications published 1 January 2022 - 31 December 2023. Titles link to full papers if they are Open Access. Publications are selected using specific search engines (see 'About the Repository').
Since our last update in October 2023, we have added 18 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings (155 total).
Several new publications focus on the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and forced migration on IYCF. One article offers a framework for protecting perinatal care and IYCF outcomes in the context of climate-related disasters and forced migration, with recommendations for targeted outreach and information sharing with rural migration hotspots. One study gathered perspectives from MCH workers in the hurricane-affected gulf coast areas of the United States. They described how donated formula quickly ran out and led to rationing and dilution with water, and how infrastructure damage, economic downturn, migration, and a diminished MCH workforce complicated efforts to reach families in need. Another letter to the editor describes the urgency of addressing severe child malnutrition in flood-affected areas of Pakistan, with targeted distribution of ready-to-use foods to health facilities in food-scarce areas.
Other researchers examine the cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability of humanitarian interventions to prevent child malnutrition. One study compared the cost of providing 6 months of infant formula vs exclusive breastfeeding in humanitarian contexts and estimated the total cost savings of exclusive breastfeeding. Another viewpoint article argues that nutritional supplement programs for young children that use chemical nutrient products should have a clearly defined endpoint so that they do not create an unsustainable reliance on commercial products and undermine larger efforts to increase local food availability.
New research on IYCF in the context of infectious disease examines both the impacts of pandemics on IYCF practices as well as the impact of IYCF practices on disease risk. One study examined the impact of breastfeeding on RSV-related respiratory infection among infants. Others continue to examine the persistence of COVID-19 immunity in breastfeeding mothers, with one study detecting SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies in breastmilk up to one year post-infection. Interviews with mothers, policymakers, and healthcare workers in Kenya highlighted how the lack of clear guidance related to COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and breastfeeding continued to cause confusion and uncertainty. One editorial highlighted how socio-economic disadvantages can magnify breastfeeding inequities during public health emergencies, with specific examples from the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you know anyone who would benefit from these updates, please direct them to this link to sign up for our email listserv. We aim to publish updates every 3 months – look out for out next update in January 2024.
Since our last update in July 2023, we have added 21 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings (137 total). Several reviews report findings from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that are not in emergency settings but offer insights that are widely applicable. This update provides emerging evidence from Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India, Israel, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Since our last update in April 2023, we have added 40 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Somalia, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela.
UPDATE 17 April 2023:
Since our last update in January 2023, we have added 21 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Ethiopia, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, France, Uganda, Ukraine, Brazil, and Italy.
UPDATE 16 January 2023:
Since our last update in October 2022, we have added 18 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from the United States, Turkey, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Australia, and Yemen.
UPDATE 19 October 2022:
Since our last update in July 2022, we have added 14 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Turkey, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Thailand, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Indonesia.
UPDATE 20 July 2022:
Since the 1st of January, 23 peer reviewed articles have been published on IYCF-E. In addition to international reviews the repository provides emerging evidence from Iraq, Bangladesh, Colombia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, the United States and Australia.
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Reference this page
IYCF-E Repository. www.ennonline.net/ife/iycferepository