09 January 2024

A Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Responses

What is the Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Response? Effective public health responses require a comprehensive range of policy solutions, including epidemiological and behavioural data, specific expertise in community engagement as well as social and behaviour change strategies, investment in healthcare systems, a well-trained and well-equipped workforce, reliable supply chains and coordinated public health and social measures. This playbook focuses on Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) solutions to public health crises, drawing upon promising SBC initiatives that were deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).The playbook has been created as a resource for practitioners within UNICEF and beyond, distilling lessons learned from the MENA region to shape more effective strategies for future responses to epidemics, pandemics and other types of health crises - using an SBC lens. Applying an SBC lens to public health crises Lessons learned from the COVID-19 response across the MENA region Inform future public health responses Effective public health responses also rest on a strong foundation of ‘preparedness’, which tends to be organised as a cycle of continuous activities rather than having a beginning and end point per se. As a complement to this foundation, this playbook is structured along four general phases of response to a public health crisis: Phase 1: Emergence of the Virus Phase 2: Continuous Adaptation Phase 3: Vaccine Rollout Phase 4: Recovery and Integration We also address two cross-cutting themes that span across the response phases follow the sections on the four phases: Social and Behavioural Data Economic and Social support
02 August 2023

Breastfeeding when sick

If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed your baby, it is natural to wonder what to do when you fall ill. The good news is that the evidence is overwhelmingly in support of continuing breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps your baby to thrive and provides lifelong health benefits.…, Can I safely breastfeed my child if I’m feeling sick?, With most common illnesses like a cold or flu, it is safe to continue breastfeeding your baby as long as you take proper hygiene precautions like handwashing. Continuing to breastfeed will help you to maintain your milk supply and will provide your baby with protection against the illness you are experiencing., Can I take medication while breastfeeding?, If you need to take any medication while ill, let your health care provider know that you are breastfeeding and ask for baby-safe options., What should I do if I’m too unwell to breastfeed?, If you are feeling too sick to nurse, try to find other ways to safely provide your child with breastmilk. Try expressing milk and giving to your child via a clean cup or spoon. Speak to your breastfeeding counsellor or healthcare professional about the options available to you. Expressing breastmilk is also important to sustain milk production so…, Should I breastfeed if my child is sick?, Continue to breastfeed your child if they become ill. Breastfeeding boosts your baby’s immune system, and your antibodies are passed to them through breastmilk, helping them to fight infections., What precautions should I take when breastfeeding if I’m sick?, If you are sick or suspect you may be, speak to your healthcare provider for guidance. Be sure to follow simple hygiene steps to help protect your child. Your hands should be washed with soap and water before and after touching your baby. You may also use an alcohol-based hand rub. It is also important to clean and disinfect any surfaces that you…, Should I breastfeed if I have or suspect I have COVID-19?, Yes, you should continue breastfeeding with appropriate precautions. The transmission of COVID-19 through breastmilk and breastfeeding has not been detected. Precautions include wearing a mask, washing your hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub before and after touching your baby, and routinely cleaning and disinfecting…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm breastfeeding or providing expressed milk?, Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for healthy individuals who are lactating or expressing milk.