In emergency contexts, fear and confusion (for example around the safety of breastfeeding in case the child or the mother is affected with COVID-19) could cause a serious setback to efforts in IYCF interventions, unless addressed in a timely and credible manner. Similarly, for complementary feeding, especially during disease outbreaks, the fear of contamination could shift food preferences towards unsuitable packaged food, which are often unhealthy. Promotion of healthy and balanced food choices would hence need to be prioritized.
Lessons from previous experiences such as from the Ebola outbreak, highlight the significant role of social and behavior change and the need to move away from top-down information sharing and towards ensuring that messages are tailored by considering local beliefs and cultural context. In the case of disease outbreak, tracking and addressing rumors and misinformation to adapt strategies to the local context would also need to be made a priority.
To request technical support for SBC, fill out a short form by clicking the ‘Request Support’ button at the top of the page.