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Burkina Faso

African Mother

Duration: September 2014 to mid-2017

Scaling up nutrition to build a model for a resilient, thriving West Africa

In Burkina Faso, Alive & Thrive is focusing on optimal breastfeeding practices because of the low rates of exclusive breastfeeding (25 percent) and initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour (42 percent). These low rates contribute to neonatal and infant mortality and have a negative effect on growth and cognitive development.

Objectives

  • To increase exclusive breastfeeding to at least 50 percent over three years in areas reached by Alive & Thrive program activities and/or community radio, estimated to reach one-half of the population
  • To demonstrate how to adapt and apply the Alive & Thrive program approach for implementing infant feeding interventions at scale in a country in francophone West Africa

Program Approach

Interventions will address barriers to improved feeding practices, from the household to the policy sphere. A multi-pronged, data-driven approach will involve the health system, the community, and mass media in line with A&T’s framework for implementing IYCF programs at scale.

  • Advocacy for greater emphasis on prevention of malnutrition through infant and young child feeding incentives for frontline workers linked to preventive measures, and inclusion of optimal breastfeeding in child survival and humanitarian and resilience agendas and programs
  • Interpersonal communication and community mobilization
    • Provide a standard high quality counseling package in health facilities (government and NGO) in program communities, accompanied by community-level promotion of these services to increase utilization of facility-based and outreach services
    • Improve the performance of community workers and volunteers by building their infant feeding knowledge and counseling skills, providing simple illustrated job aids and regular supervision, and linking them with the health system through mobile phone contacts (in areas of connectivity) and meetings with other frontline workers
    • Shift social norms in program communities, particularly for optimal breastfeeding, and encourage support for mothers to exclusively breastfeed through mobilization of health workers, volunteers, civil society organizations, and community workers engaged in other sectors including agriculture, education, and water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Mass communication using interactive community radio (and other channels as supported by evidence and media habits data) to promote recommended breastfeeding practices throughout Burkina Faso and engage community opinion leaders who are key for supporting families and mothers
  • Strategic use of data including formative data to inform content design and strategy execution, special studies and rapid assessments to spot areas requiring mid-course corrections, routine monitoring to improve delivery, and rigorous evaluation to strengthen evidence of program impact