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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-12

Age-appropriate feeding practices and nutritional status of infants attending child welfare clinic at a Teaching Hospital in Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Umar M Lawan
Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 3452, Kano State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8229.128766

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Background: Appropriate infant feeding is the key to optimum infant and child development and survival. This study investigates age-appropriate infant feeding practices and nutritional status of infants attending the immunization and child welfare clinic at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional descriptive design, a sample of 300 sets of infants (age ≤12 months) and caregivers was systematically selected and studied. The data were analyzed using the MINITAB ® 12.21 (USA) statistical software. Results: All the infants studied were still on breast milk. Most of the mothers demonstrated correct body positioning (89.9) and attachment (78.7%) during breastfeeding, and effective suckling was demonstrated in 77.0%. Interestingly, none of the infants was either exclusively breastfed for 6 months or currently on exclusive breastfeeding. Furthermore, only 64 (58.2%) of the 110 infants that were more than 6 months of age had appropriately been started on complementary feeding from 6 months of age. Overall, most caregivers (88.7%) had "fair" to "good" infant feeding practices. The practices were significantly associated with their level of education, and their relationship with the infants. Up to 40.0% and 73.7% of the infants had varying degrees of wasting and stunting respectively. Infant feeding practices and the age of the infants emerged as the only factors significantly associated with stunting, while both the caregivers' practices and age of the infants emerged as significant predictors of wasting in the infants. Conclusion and Recommendations: Barely 3 years to the 2015 target of the millennium development goals (MDGs), infant feeding and nutritional status still poses a serious threat to the dream of realizing the MDG-4. The Ministry of Health and relevant developing partners in this region should as a matter of urgency, formulate and implement a strong community-based public health intervention program to improve the knowledge and practices of mothers on infant feeding.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010