Recent updates from Bangladesh:


Progress:
1) Starting March 1st, micro-nutrient powder (MNP) has begun to be distributed in the sub-district of Karimaganj.
2) The mid-term review (MTR) has been completed.

Overall, the MTR indicates that out of all the activities being implemented, individual counseling and frequent contact between mothers and CCs and CHNWs have made the biggest difference in improving IYCF practices. Additionally, the MTR indicates that the project has achieved high levels of awareness and knowledge about infant feeding and related maternal nutrition. Emphasis is now shifting away from knowledge and awareness and more towards negotiation and support to influence the practice particularly through individual counseling. Currently, the capacity of the counselors around negotiation is being strengthened so they are better able to understand the household situation and offer practical solutions or viable alternatives to current practices.

Challenges:
One of the biggest barriers to optimal IYCF practices in Bangladesh is that mothers have a strong perception that child feeding is their responsibility alone, while men and elder women appear to play a large role in decisions-making in the household. So far, counseling by community counselors and community health and nutrition workers has helped to address some of this, but further widening of the circle of support for the mother might help further. Thus, the Akhoni Shomay team has adopted a family-focused approach in which the unit of analysis for both research and program design is the family rather than the mother-child dyad in isolation. It will be very important to document effective strategies found.

Recent news:
CARE Bangladesh was recognized for their contribution towards IYCF nationally. The IYCF South Asia Regional Conference was held in Dhaka from April 28-30, 2012, where CARE received a crest from Prof. Dr. Syed Modasser Ali, Health and Social Welfare Advisor to Prime Minister of Bangladesh on April 28, 2012.
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