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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 421-428

Situation analysis of the existing infant feeding pattern at the commencement of the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programme in Ibadan

Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

Correspondence Address:
B J Brown
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20329685

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate breastfeeding and weaning practices associated socio-demographic factors and knowledge about mother-to-child transmission of HIV among mothers in Ibadan. METHODS: A cross sectional survey was conducted among 513 mothers of children aged 6- 24 months, attending infant welfare clinics. Data collection was by a structured questionnaire, which was supplemented by focus group discussions to further explore some of the issues covered in the survey. RESULTS: Breast-feeding rate was 99.4%, the duration of which ranged from 1-22 months with a median of 14 months among those who had stopped breastfeeding. Only 145 (28.3%) mothers breastfed their babies exclusively for six months and 259(50.8%) initiated breastfeeding within one hour of birth; both were associated with at least secondary level of education. The main obstacle to exclusive breastfeeding was the belief that water is required to quench thirst in babies. Expression of breast milk was not favoured by majority of the mothers (68%) most of whom felt that the milk would get contaminated. Wet nursing was rarely practiced (0.4%). Most of the mothers, 436 (85%) were aware that HIV could be transmitted through breast milk but the attitude towards a mother who did not breast feed was negative in 96.8% ofrespondents. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to recommended infant feeding options for HIV-exposed infants are likely to be faced with challenges in a culture where breastfeeding is the norm and exclusive breastfeeding rate is low. There is need for counseling and health education on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

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