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.