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Building Local Partners’ Capacity to Implement Infant and Young Child Feeding Interventions

In August 2013, SPRING and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) formally launched the Nigeria Community and Facility Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Package for its use in uniform training and information sharing throughout Nigeria. The package of materials, which was adapted from the UNICEF and WHO generic global document and the 2010 National Recommendations on IYCF in the Context of HIV, has been finalized in English and translated into six Nigerian languages—Hausa, Idoma, Igbo, Tiv, Pidgin, and Yoruba.

SPRING currently provides technical assistance to the implementing partners of two USAID OVC projects – Umbrella Grant Mechanism (UGM) and Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (LOPIN) – to achieve their nutrition and food security-related objectives. SPRING is supporting these partners in the roll-out of community IYCF trainings across 16 states. SPRING has also trained CDC implementing partners to become master trainers on both community and facility IYCF.

Before trainings begin, SPRING will sensitize key policy and decision makers and other important stakeholders at the state and LGA levels. Sensitization meetings will also serve as an opportunity to highlight the issue of nutrition and advocate for support to address them. Through a cascade approach to the training roll-out, representatives from government, USAID implementing partners, civil society organizations, and various healthcare workers will be trained on IYCF. Support groups, comprising of care givers within focal communities, are the ultimate recipients of the messages and counseling around IYCF learned through these trainings.

To complement roll-out of the IYCF package at the community level, SPRING has also trained personnel in primary, secondary, and tertiary health facilities to ensure consistency of messaging and counseling at the referral facility level. Joint supervision and mentoring visits are conducted in tandem with USAID partners, their civil society organizations, and government partners wherever the IYCF counseling package has been rolled out.