To recognize World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP) announced that Breastfeeding will be the key behavior addressed in its Child Survival SBCC Implementation Kit for Faith Based Organizations (I-Kit). The I-Kit will be launched worldwide in mid-September, following a launch in Nigeria earlier in the month.
The I-Kit is an initiative of JHU∙CCP’s Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3). HC3’s Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health team has chosen to engage with faith based organizations following the recent launch of a “Ten Promises to Our Children” interfaith commitment to improve child survival, with optimal breastfeeding listed as the first promise. HC3 is focusing specifically on breastfeeding in the I-Kit as it is an essential behavior for child survival.
Developed by HC3 in partnership with an Advisory Council that includes Catholic Relief Services, Islamic Relief, World Relief, World Vision, Food for the Hungry and Religions for Peace, the interactive I-Kit leads a program manager new to social and behavior change communication (SBCC) through the steps of developing a communication strategy. It links to resources such as sample SBCC strategies and research findings to strengthen the capacity of FBOs in SBCC, breastfeeding resources on the Health Compass and other partner resources. The HC3 team will draw primarily from existing materials as well as relevant maternal, newborn and child health adaptable communication strategies and cross-cutting tools developed as part of the Demand Generation Implementation Kit for Underutilized Commodities in RMNCH and other potential partner SBCC resources for the Kit.
Five local faith-based organizations in Nigeria, including Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN), Danfodio Islamic Research and Training Organization (DIMRATO), Diocese of Kaduna (Anglican Communion), The Church of Nigeria, Social and Economic Development Foundation of Osun Anglican Diocese/Hope for Family Development Initiative (SEDEFOAD, HFDI) and Interfaith Council of Muslim and Christian Women’s Associations (WIC), are currently pre-testing the breastfeeding I-Kit. These organizations will provide feedback on its usability as they follow the steps to develop an SBCC strategy for optimal breastfeeding at the community level. Interested readers can follow the I-Kit pre-testing progress on the Springboard “Faith Communities and SBCC” discussion board. Following pre-testing, HC3 will fine-tune the I-Kit reflecting lessons learned through the pre-testing and prepare for the broader launch in September.
*This article originally appeared on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs website.