Menu ENN Search

Cultural influences on IYCF: Case study from the IYCF-E GIFA/ENN Project

Author: GIFA / ENN report
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 51
Location: Sierra Leone
Time: 2003
Source: Janet Omoro
Issue: Community and cultural influences on infant feeding choice

During my visits around Sierra Leone, I chatted with women in the host community regarding nutrition and health issues affecting their children. The main topics touched upon were the immunization status of their under-five children, children's health status, feeding habits and food choices. Reasons for food choices included what is available in the local markets at the time and what the household can afford. A number of the mothers who have had a reason to visit the health clinics did mention that there is nutrition talks given on what foods are good for children, but the reality is that they can only give what is available and at their disposal. Basically what this tells us is that in some of the communities, nutrition education may need to be combined with some collaborative action on other non-health sectors such as agriculture.

Concerning infant feeding, women suggested that they have been advised to exclusively breastfeed in the clinics. However, some remarked that they do not have enough breastmilk and besides, water, it is believed, is also good for the babies (culturally engrained practice). Consequently, despite the information they get, they “cannot” exclusively breastfeed.

My own observation is that a number of women in locations visited were definitely malnourished and there will be need to target them in selective feeding programmes. When a mothers’ nutritional situation is compromised by lack of adequate food, and given all the stresses of trying to provide food for her family, it is not uncommon to hear mothers complain of lack of breastmilk. This applies to host communities, as well as refugee populations. However this is not the only factor. Even in the refugee camps of Sierra Leone, where there are supplementary feeding programmes for pregnant and lactating mothers, women continue to supplement breastmilk with water.

More like this

FEX: Counselling on infant feeding choice: Some practical realities from South Africa

By Tanya Doherty (pictured), Mickey Chopra and Mike Colvin Tanya is currently a senior scientist at the Health Systems Trust and Medical Research Council in Capetown, South...

en-net: breastfeeding

What knowledge gaps are there currently in breastfeeding? What are some of the challenges mothers are getting in practising exclusive breasfeeding, especially in third world...

FEX: Responding to nutrition gaps in Jordan in the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Infant and Young Child Feeding education and malnutrition treatment

By Gabriele Fänder and Megan Frega Gabriele Fänder is the Regional Health and Nutrition Advisor with Medair in the Syria Crisis Response Programme, based in Amman....

FEX: Infant and young child feeding support in Lebanon: strengthening the national system

By Pressila Darjani and Linda Shaker Berbari Pressila Derjany is the Infant and Young Child Coordinator at IOCC. She has a B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics. She joined IOCC...

en-net: Infant feeding and Ebola Outbreak

Posted on behalf of Fabienne Rousseau, ACF I have a question related to infant feeding in the context of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Our teams are engaged...

FEX: Breastfeeding Support Groups in Tajikistan

Uma Palaniappan and Zinaida Abdullaeva Uma Palaniappan & Zinaida Abdullaeva Uma Palaniappan is the Nutrition Programme Manager of Action Against Hunger in Kurgan Tyube in...

FEX: Infant Feeding Patterns and Risk of Death

Summary of published paper1 Current WHO guidelines recommend that HIV positive mothers should avoid breastfeeding only if replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible,...

FEX: Managing infant and young child feeding in refugee camps in Jordan

By Sura Alsamman Sura Alsamman is nutrition supervisor at Save the Children Jordan, responsible for the overall all coordination of the IYCF technical functions and activities...

FEX: Postscript: Commentary on experiences of IYCF support in the Jordan response

By Ann Burton, Senior Public Health Officer UNHCR Jordan These two articles highlight the challenges in protecting and promoting sound infant and young child feeding (IYCF)...

FEX: ENN/GIFA project

Summary of presentation1 The Core Group2, composed of UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, ENN and GIFA/IBFAN have developed and disseminated module 13 on Infant Feeding in Emergencies....

FEX: Infant Feeding Alternatives for HIV Positive Mothers in Kenya

By Tom Oguta, Abiud Omwega and Jaswant Sehmi Tom Oguta is currently a PhD student of Nutrition at the University of Nairobi. He has worked as a Research Officer at KIRDI...

FEX: Contributing to the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) response in the Philippines: a local NGO perspective

By Romelei Camiling-Alfonso, Donna Isabel S. Capili, Katherine Ann V. Reyes, A.M. Francesca Tatad and Maria Asuncion Silvestre Romelei Camiling-Alfonso has worked for the...

FEX: Emerging cases of malnutrition amongst IDPs in Tal Abyad district, Syria

By Maartje Hoetjes, Wendy Rhymer, Lea Matasci-Phelippeau, Saskia van der Kam Maartje Hoetjes is a Medical member of the MSF emergency team, currently working in South Sudan....

FEX: Tech RRT IYCF-E/CMAM adviser: experiences from Niger, Haiti and Nigeria

By Michele Goergen View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Michele Goergen has been an IYCF-E/CMAM adviser with the Tech RRT for one and a half...

FEX: Caring for premature babies in a conflict zone

Summary of published experiences1 This paper describes aspects of the authors work as a midwife with Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in a north-western regional hospital in Côte...

FEX: Letters

Dear ENN, If there is one thing that we have learnt from the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak it is that regardless of infection status, Ebola comes bringing bad...

FEX: Socio-Anthropological Aspects of Home Recovery from Severe Manutrition

By Adrienne Daudet and Carlos Navarro-Colorado Morlaï, cured at home, at last weekly visit. Adrienne Daudet is an agronomist and has an MA in anthropology. She has four years...

FEX: IYCF-Friendly Framework pilot in Jordan, Bangladesh and Kenya

By Bushra Rashid, Nicki Connell and Caroline Wilkinson Bushra Rashid is working as a Nutrition Advisor in the Humanitarian Surge Team of Save the Children UK. She has been...

en-net: Breastfeeding and its benefits

Dear All, this page appeared today under health issues on the BBC News website. I am very interested in knowing your views on this issues that has been raised before mothers...

FEX: Ten steps to successful breastfeeding programme in DRC: a cluster-randomised controlled trial

Summary of research1 Location: DRC What we know: Whilst most mothers initiate and continue breastfeeding in DRC, exclusive breastfeeding rates remain low. What this article...

Close

Reference this page

GIFA / ENN report (2003). Cultural influences on IYCF: Case study from the IYCF-E GIFA/ENN Project. www.ennonline.net/iycfculture

(ENN_598)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.