This briefing paper demonstrates how childcare is influenced by a range
of household actors in Sierra Leone, and sets out what efforts to
prevent malnutrition can do to engage with this reality.
Key messages are:
Promoting good child nutrition must go beyond dissemination of infant
and young child feeding practices to engage with key influences on
‘Exclusive’ breastfeeding is rarely exclusive, with traditional
remedies frequently given to infants.
Decision-making around food distribution, household finances and when
to stop breastfeeding is deeply gendered, influencing the ability of
women to act on knowledge about appropriate feeding practices.
These social conditions that sustain malnutrition are exacerbated
during ‘lean seasons’, when there are greater labour demands,
compromised sanitation, and limited coping mechanisms.
Mallett, R.; Denney, L. Sierra Leone: Getting beyond nutrition as a women’s issue.; Briefing Paper 5. Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, UK (2014) 4 pp.