International Journal of Community medicine and Public Health
Varghese, A., Agarwal, M.
Article on infant and young child feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Children have milder clinical course and better prognosis from COVID infection. But the after-effects of this pandemic can have severe repercussions on nutrition of children, especially those who are already malnourished. Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can lead to stunted growth, which is associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduced school and work performance. Misconceptions about breastfeeding, food insecurity hampering the procurement of nutritious food, competing household needs, psychological trauma that affects child care practices and disruption or reduced utilization of routine nutrition services can negatively impact infant feeding during the pandemic. If nutrition-related factors contributed to about 45% of global under-5 mortality before the onset of COVID-19, the figures can increase if appropriate infant and young child feeding practices are not followed. Years of dedicated work has resulted in the infant feeding indicators we cite today. Efforts should be made to prevent backsliding, resulting in increased child malnutrition and mortality. Appropriate measures at the right time to protect, promote and support optimal IYCF practices and thereby safeguard the nutritional benefits of the first 1000 days of life during this pandemic, will pay rich dividends in terms of a healthier next generation.
- COVID-19 Pandemic
- Food Insecurity
- Women and/or Girls
- South Asia
- Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
- Adults (men and/or women 19+ years old)
- Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
- Children <5 years old
- Lactating women and/or girls
- Women (adults and/or adolescents)
- Journal article