In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 43% of children under 5 years of age suffer from stunting, and the majority (60%) of children, 6-59 months of age, are anemic. Malaria, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases are common among children less than 5 years of age, with 31% of children 6-59 months affected by malaria. This aimed to identify gaps and opportunities available to strengthen service delivery of nutrition within integrated community case management (iCCM) at the health facility and community level in Tshopo Province, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Programme recommendations are to strengthen health provider capacity to counsel on IYCF and iCCM while equipping health workers with updated social and behavior change communication (SBCC) materials and continued supportive supervision. In addition, targeting key influencers to encourage optimal IYCF practices is needed through community and mother support groups. Finally, exploring innovative ways to work with traditional healers, to facilitate referrals for sick/malnourished children and provide simple nutrition advice for certain practices (i.e., breastfeeding), would aid in strengthening nutrition within iCCM.
Authors: Kavle, Justine; Pacque, Michel; Dalglish, Sarah; Mbombeshayi, Evariste; Anzolo, Jimmy; Mirindi, Janvier; Tosha, Maphie; Safari, Octave; Gibson, Lacey; Straubinger, Sarah;