Infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling in the context of COVID-19 remains a critical nutrition intervention for the protection and support of pregnant women, caregivers, and their young children. WHO and UNICEF advise caregivers and families with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to continue the recommended IYCF practices with the necessary hygiene precautions. It is therefore vital to ensure that communities and families around the world adopt these recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus and care for those who are infected.
UNICEF and USAID Advancing Nutrition, with the support of the Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group represented by Save the Children and Safely Fed Canada, have developed a counselling package, Infant and Young Child Feeding Recommendations when COVID-19 is Suspected or Confirmed. The set includes 10 Counselling Cards and a Recommended Practices Booklet. These materials reflect the global recommendations from WHO and UNICEF (March 2020) on IYCF in the context of COVID-19 and may be periodically updated to reflect new or emerging evidence. The package provides both easy-to-understand recommended practices for counsellors and user-friendly graphics that can be used with low-literacy communities in different contexts.
To learn about options for adapting existing images and graphic materials, or to create your own materials for your IYCF and COVID-19 program needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the Adobe InDesign source files for the layout graphics and illustrations used in the counselling cards. The Recommended Practices Booklet is available below as a Microsoft Word document, which can be modified. You can also find many of the images that were adapted for use in this counselling package in the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Image Bank – an open-access collection of over 700 images developed or adapted for the UNICEF Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling Package.