Menu ENN Search

Infant feeding in emergencies. Guidance for relief workers in Myanmar and China

Author: WHO
Year: 2008
Resource type: Field tool

www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/news/2008/13_05/en/index.html

During emergency situations, whether manmade or natural disasters such as the recent cyclone in Myanmar or the earthquake in China, disease and death rates among children under-five are generally higher than for any other age group. The younger the infant, the higher the risk. Mortality may be particularly high due to the combined impact of a greatly increased prevalence of communicable diseases and diarrhoea and soaring rates of undernutrition.
The best way of preventing malnutrition and mortality among infants and young children in emergencies or otherwise, is to ensure that they start breastfeeding within one hour of birth and continue breastfeeding exclusively (with no food or liquid other than breastmilk, not even water) until six months of age. Even in emergency situations, the aim should be to create and sustain an environment that encourages frequent breastfeeding for children up to two years of age.
Unfortunately, however, there is a widespread misconception that mothers cannot breastfeed adequately due to stress or inadequate nutrition. Frequently, news from devastated areas report stories of mothers who have given birth and are "not producing enough breastmilk". Rather than providing infant formula and feeding bottles indiscriminately, the focus should rather be on establishing safe 'corners' for mothers and infants, one-to-one counselling and mother-to-mother support.
The Infant Feeding in Emergencies Core Group (made up of UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, WFP, IBFAN-GIFA, CARE USA, Fondation Terre des Hommes, and the Emergency Nutrition Network) has developed Operational Guidance for Emergency Relief Staff and Programme Managers, which provides concise, practical, non-technical guidance on how to ensure appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies.

Download

who-statement-on-myanmar-china-on-website-may-2008.doc (Word, 31kb)

More like this

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: Infant Feeding in Emergencies: Recurring Challenges

Published Report By Marie McGrath The importance of infant feeding in emergencies has been highlighted during recent emergencies in countries such as Iraq and Bosnia, where...

FEX: Infant feeding strategies and PMTCT - Mashi trial from Botswana

Summary of published research1 Arecently published paper compares the efficacy and safety of two infant feeding strategies for the prevention of postnatal mother-to-child HIV...

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 problems and food supplements. Any association?

Why is it in the SFP we find the following as admission criteria: 'Lactating women with an infant < 6 months if they have breastfeeding problems or if the infant is not...

FEX: Issue 29 Editorial

There are two major themes running through this issue of Field Exchange. The first is a focus on Southern Africa and the programmatic challenges presented by HIV/AIDS and the...

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: Evaluation of Relactation by the Supplemental Suckling Technique

A mother feeding her baby using the SST By Odile Oberlin and Caroline Wilkinson, Action Contre la Faim (ACF) Odile Oberlin is a paediatrician working in a Paris hospital and...

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...

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: 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: Diluted F100 v infant formula in treatment of severely malnourished infants < 6 months

By Caroline Wilkinson and Sheila Isanaka Caroline Wilkinson was Nutrition Advisor with Action Contre la Faim - France (ACF-F), until November 2008. She spent most of 2007 in...

FEX: Using IMRs to inform policy decisions on infant feeding and HIV

Summary of published research1 Feeding bottles in a camp in Pakistan A recently published paper presents an analysis of the impact of WHO infant feeding recommendations in...

FEX: Letter on relevance of IFE guidelines in developed countries, by Sarah Saunby

Recently, ENN was party to an exchange of questions and discussion between field staff and 'experts' relating to decisions on the use of readymade therapeutic products versus...

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: Assessing the intervention on infant feeding in Gaza 2008

By Susan Thurstans and Vicky Sibson Susan Thurstans has been part of the emergency response team for nutrition with Save the Children UK since January 2009 and previously...

FEX: Infant Feeding in Emergencies: Experiences from Indonesia and Lebanon

By Ali Maclaine and Mary Corbett Ali Maclaine has a MSc in Human Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been involved in infant feeding and...

FEX: Review of indicators to assess Infant Feeding in Emergencies

Summary of research1 Population movements in an emergency challenge needs assessments - including infant and young child feeding practices © ANDY SEAL The public health...

en-net: Should you recommend wet nursing in HIV prevalent areas where replacement feeding is not safe but there is no HIV testing available?

Current WHO guidance on infant feeding and HIV (2010) emphasises a public health approach to infant feeding choice in the HIV context. It emphasises that feeding...

FEX: Increased diarrhoea following infant formula distribution in 2006 earthquake response in Indonesia: evidence and actions

By Fitsum Assefa, Sri Sukotjo (Ninik), Anna Winoto and David Hipgrave Fitsum Assefa is a nutritionist with over 15 years experience working on public nutrition in various...

Close

Reference this page

WHO (2008). Infant feeding in emergencies. Guidance for relief workers in Myanmar and China. www.ennonline.net/iycfmyanmarchina

(ENN_630)

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.