Infant and young child feeding learning sessions during savings groups are feasible and acceptable for HIV-positive and HIV-negative women in Malawi.

Focus Areas: Health & Wellness Educating Girls & Women

Based on formative research, HIV-positive women in Lilongwe District, Malawi receive little infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling postpartum and want more support for IYCF from their husbands. To address these gaps, we implemented a behaviour change communication intervention promoting IYCF in village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) that included HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. The intervention consisted of 15 IYCF learning sessions facilitated by VSLA volunteers during regular VSLA meetings and included four sessions to which husbands were invited. We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention through learning session participation logs, structured observations of learning sessions, and in-depth interviews with HIV-positive and HIV-negative VSLA members, husbands of members, and VSLA volunteers. Nine VSLA volunteers conducted learning sessions with approximately 300-400 women, about one quarter of whom were lactating, and 25-35 men. VSLA volunteers consistently communicated technical information correctly, followed the learning session steps, and used visual aids.

Flax, V. L., Chapola, J., Mokiwa, L., Mofolo, I., Swira, H., Hosseinipour, M. C., & Maman, S. (2019). Infant and young child feeding learning sessions during savings groups are feasible and acceptable for HIV-positive and HIV-negative women in Malawi. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 15(3), e12765. [12765]. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12765