Undernutrition is a key cause of poor child growth and development, including early cognitive development. Child growth, beginning during the mother’s pregnancy and continuing until the child is 2 years old, sets the stage for later life. Losses in physical and brain development resulting from undernutrition during this period—the first 1,000 days—cannot be corrected later. Children who suffer from abnormally slow growth do not perform well in school and are at risk of becoming less productive adults, which can affect their lifetime earnings. Slow economic development in northern Ghana can be attributed, in part, to child undernutrition.
Men and women have a shared responsibility to prevent child undernutrition. As head of the household, men play an important role in ensuring that pregnant women have access to the right foods. After a child is born, to ensure proper growth, men can ensure that young children are fed properly, which includes frequent meals, adequate quantity and density of food, diverse foods, and continued breastfeeding.
This facilitator’s guide is adapted from the Infant and Young Child Feeding Project and the Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) men’s group package. It is a reference for male group leaders of the Father-to-Father Support Groups (FTFSGs) to facilitate group meetings at the community level.
The guide provides step-by-step guidance for facilitating all 15 sessions of the infant and young child feeding and gender curriculum. The annexes in this document include a facilitator training agenda and a monthly meeting report template.
This Facilitator’s Guide should be used with the accompanying illustrated job aid, Father-to-Father Counselling cards. They will enable men to adopt new behaviours to ensure improved child nutrition.