Mother holds baby in Jalalabad Oblast
Mother holds baby while talking to health care provider about high-impact nutrition practices in Jalalabad Oblast. SPRING

USAID Advancing Nutrition Kyrgyz Republic has been selected to showcase their work on adapting infant and young child feeding (IYCF) nutrition programming to the current COVID-19 context.

Nazgul Abazbekova, Chief of Party for the USAID Advancing Nutrition program in Kyrgyz Republic will share the project’s experience  during two upcoming learning and sharing “cafes” organized by The Nutrition Technical Rapid Response Team. The goal of these virtual events is to provide an opportunity for different countries and organizations to share their lessons learned and experiences with IYCF programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of the innovative approach the USAID Advancing Nutrition Kyrgyz Republic has taken to pivot activities in-country, they’ve been selected to present alongside projects from five different countries.

IYCF activities supported by USAID Advancing Nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic have shifted into the virtual space in the wake of national lockdowns that prevent traditional face-to-face counseling. Much thought has been put into how virtual programming can meet the needs of the communities served. The program’s social and behavioral change (SBC) activities in rural and urban areas, including recruitment and training of community volunteers are now being carried out virtually. Taking advantage of the wide-spread access to mobile phones in the country, the team was also able to adapt training for health professionals and community volunteers. Since going remote, they’ve now reached over 380 medical workers with training and materials such as the Kyrgyz Republic adaptation of the IYCF Counselling Package when COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed.