Infant Feeding Practice and Maternal Factors Influencing Exclusive Breast Feeding: A Cross-sectional Study in Warrap State, South Sudan

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.10.03.Art002

Authors : Thomas Tako Akim Ujjiga, Erneo Bernardo Ochi


Infant and young child feeding is critical for children's health and survival in South Sudan. No association between maternal demographic information, feeding practice, and Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) was hypothesized. A 3-month descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate into infant feeding practice, prevalence, and the effect of maternal demographic features on EBF in rural areas of Warrap State, South Sudan. 420 breastfeeding mothers were administered structured questionnaires. Odd Ratio (OR), Confidence Interval (CI) and P value < 0.005 were used. The results showed that the mean age of breastfeeding mothers was 26.6 years. They were unemployed housewives with little or no education, delivering at home with good antenatal care. Neonates were breastfed immediately after birth and provided with colostrum (OR = 0.48, CI = (0.11-1.45). Supplementary feeding was mainly cow milk and was introduced six months ago, with Malaria as common during EBF. Knowledge of breastfeeding practice was adequate, and most women lived as single families with shared compounds and were well supported by other family members with the best economic independence practice. The provision of colostrum and prior knowledge on EBF were significantly associated with breastfeeding practice (P< 0.005) which was reflected on the prevalence of 89.04%. In conclusion, this study shows that the infant feeding practice of breastfeeding women with family support has removed barriers to EBF. Further research is needed to improve EBF practice and identify other significant maternal factors influencing EBF in rural communities for the sustainable development of children's health in South Sudan.

Keywords: Children Health, Exclusive Breastfeeding, Rural Communities, South Sudan.


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