Assessment of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Mothers Attending Immunization Clinic in Kenya: a Case Study of Kericho County

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art020

Authors : Taratisio Ndwiga


Exclusive breast feeding (EBF)means that the infant receives only breast milk with no other additional foods or liquid, not even water. Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the mother and infant.

The aim of the study was to assess factors that hide exclusive breast feeding among the mothers attending Immunization clinic in Kericho county Hospital. The target population was all the mothers with children aged 0-6 months attending immunization clinic, Kericho County Hospital. The study design was descriptive cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling was used, as quite a number of women go for immunization at the hospital. All mothers (aged 18-49 years) with children 0-6 months old visiting Kericho County Hospital immunization clinic were included in the study. Fisher et al, 1998 was used to calculate the sample size, where 40 respondents were interviewed. Data was collected by use of a questionnaire. SPSS version 20.0 was used to analyze the data, which was summarized into percentages and presented in Text, figures, tables and graphs. Odd ratio was used to calculate the Respondents relationship distribution in terms of Education level versus Knowledge on EBF and Occupation versus complementary feeding.

Majority (62.5% ) of the respondents were aged 18-27 years followed by those with 28-37 years (25% ) while in the level of education, those with secondary were 55% , tertiary 20% and primary were 25% . For marital status, 50% were married, 32% single, 10% widowed, 5% separated and 3% divorced. The distributions for religion, 95% were Christians and only 5% were Muslims. In occupation self-employed were the majority 45% followed by those without employment at 35% and the employed at 20% .

The sources of exclusive breastfeeding as quoted by the respondents were Health center 50% , friends 25% , CHW 12.5, Books 7.5% and Childs grand-Mother 5% . On the duration of EBF, those who breastfeed for 6 Months were the majority at 62.5% , 4-5 Months at 25% and 0-3 Months at 12.5% . On whether the EBF is possible with HIV infected mothers, 75% answered yes and not possible at 25% and when asked how possible it was, 62.5% said through healthcare workers advice, 32.5% through EBF only and those who did not have an idea 5% .

On terms of the age of their children, respondents with 0-3 years were 60% and 4-6 months were 40% while 42.5% had introduced other feeds such as milk, porridge, fruits, water and 57.5 had not introduced the feeds. When requested to explain their reasons to introduce others feeds, 60% said it was because of work, advice from child’s grand-mother were 22.5% and those lucking enough milk were at 17.5% .

The odd ratio suggested that salaried respondents are twice more likely to introduce complementary than the non-salaried respondents while those with primary education were 6 times more likely to lack knowledge on EBF than the salaried. Despite high level of knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding, challenges affecting its optimal uptake there’s still need to address it in community in order to bolster its uptake. There’s need to return to work by breastfeeding mothers was noted as one of barriers of exclusive breastfeeding.

The county government should make necessary legislation to create supportive work. Environment for breasting mothers who are not covered by National Maternity Policy.


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