Menu ENN Search

Guidance released on the impact of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats on infants, young children and breastfeeding women

By ENN on 30 March 2023

 

CBRN emergencies are among the most alarming threats facing the world today. In modern warfare, there is increased risk of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons exposure and of nuclear emergencies due to damage to nuclear power plants. Most international agencies have action guidelines for the general population, but an urgent gap exists in guidance specifically for the breastfeeding population.  Before now, there was no centralised place for agencies or individuals to go to access vital information about the treatment of breastfeeding women, infants and young children and the safety of breastfeeding in CBRN crises.

In response to the lack of critical information, the Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group, along with the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, has created guidelines for the breastfeeding population in the context of the most common chemical and biological agents along with guidance for the first three days after a nuclear power plant emergency.

Sharon Leslie, co-author of the guidance report says, “Our work was originally initiated in response to attacks on nuclear power plants and the risk of chemical and biological warfare in Ukraine. It became very clear that the information was also needed for other parts of the world and for future crises. We know that in wartime situations, women and young children are often the most vulnerable and most impacted.  The guidelines help clearly address the gap that exists in protecting women and children and can be easily integrated into disaster guidelines and policies for countries and NGOs around the world.”

The guidance is a multi-disciplinary effort, drawing on expertise from a wide variety of fields including medical toxicology, infant feeding in emergencies, health security, CBRN preparedness, infectious disease, disaster response, and nuclear physics, among others. The evidence-based work is intended for policymakers, healthcare workers and emergency planners and can be used alongside existing guidance for the general public and healthcare workers. This remains an evolving field and the guidance will be updated as new information is available.                       

Jodine Chase, Facilitator of the IFE Core Group, added, “we sincerely hope that these guidelines will never need to be used, but given the current geopolitical landscape we face, it was imperative that we had sound, easy to understand guidelines for crisis situations. In addition to guidance on specific treatment for breastfeeding women, infants and young children, the guidance details how to handle potential contamination of food that may be consumed by young children and those who are breastfeeding. All our evidence points to how much breastfeeding saves lives, particularly in disasters and emergencies. This kind of information is critical to determining when breastfeeding can be safely continued in the face of a CBRN event and ensuring that there is advice and support for those caring for infants and children that are dependent on commercial infant formula and other foods. ”

 

Download Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats in wartime situations: The impact on breastfeeding safety and infant/ young child feeding practices.

More like this

Resource: Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats in wartime situations: The impact on breastfeeding safety and infant/ young child feeding practices

View the full package here or click on the thumbnails below to download the individual documents. In today's modern warfare, there is an increased risk of chemical,...

Resource: Guidance Note: Infant and young child feeding in the first three days after a nuclear power plant accident

There is increasing concern about nuclear power plant accidents and emergencies recently as a result of disruption to a nuclear power plant in Ukraine. This guidance note...

Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group

Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group The Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group is a global collaboration of agencies and individuals that formed in 1999 to...

IFE Core Group Resources and Outputs

IFE Core Group Resources and Outputs The IFE Core Group engages in the development of useful resources and publications on IYCF-E. Documents consist of latest guidance on...

Blog post: Breastfeeding in the aftermath of a nuclear power plant incident; what we need to know

The nuclear emergency guidance note mentioned in this blog aims to help healthcare workers and emergency planners on the ground in their responses to infant and young child...

FEX: Update on the GNC Technical Alliance Global Thematic Working Groups

View this article as a pdf The Global Nutrition Cluster Technical Alliance (the Alliance) aims to provide predictable, timely and coordinated nutrition technical assistance to...

IYCF-E Repository

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...

ENN Latest

A new collection: three related resources on the topic of multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) in humanitarian emergencies. Read the State of Play and Somalia and Pakistan...

FEX: Iraq - Sanctions Take Their Toll

By Killian Forde Under article 41 of the United Nations Charter, the UN Security Council (UNSC) may call upon member states to apply measures not involving the use of armed...

FEX: Initiating Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Programming, Ukraine 2022

View this article as a pdf This is a summary of the following paper: https://www.ennonline.net/attachments/4986/IYCF-E-Ukraine-response-lessons-learned.pdf This article...

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: Joint IAEA-WHO-UNICEF workshop on biological pathways to better understand the double burden of malnutrition

While stunting and wasting are still important public health problems in low and middle-income countries, rapid nutrition and epidemiologic transitions have led to increased...

FEX: Genetically modified food in emergencies

Ethiopia, Dried out maize harvest with barely any crop on it An editorial in the Lancet draws attention to the rapidly emerging issue of using genetically modified (GM) foods...

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...

FEX: Philippine Nutrition Cluster’s battle for the best: the breast

By Ms. Florinda Panlilio, Department of Health, Philippines Ms. Florinda Panlilio is a Nutritionist-Dietitian IV in the Department of Health -Health Emergency Management...

Resource: Operational Guidance on Breastfeeding Counselling in Emergencies

Background Scope and purpose In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) published Counselling of Women to Improve Breastfeeding Practices, a guideline with recommendations...

IYCF-E Events

IYCF-E Events Upcoming Events No events planned currently. Previous Events Wednesday 24th April 2024: Supporting Wet Nursing in Emergency Contexts This webinar provides...

IYCF-E Resources

NEW: Visit the IYCF-E HUB established in May 2021 for a global, comprehensive and interactive repository of essential IYCF-E resources! For a list of key IYCF-E resources and...

FEX: Infant feeding in the South Asia earthquake aftermath

By Maaike Arts Maaike Arts was seconded to UNICEF Pakistan in November 2005, until January 2006. Formerly she was Project Officer in Nutrition/Early Childhood Care with UNICEF...

FEX: Challenges of IYCF and psychosocial support in Lebanon

By Juliette Seguin Juliette Seguin is currently Health and Nutrition Coordinator for ACF Lebanon. She has been working with ACF since 2011 in Haiti, Guinea, Bangladesh, Turkey...