Prevalence and factors affecting exclusive breastfeeding among mother-infant pairs in Kawempe Division, Kampala District
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INTRODUCTION: Early infant breastfeeding practices are important determinants of the nutritional and health status of children. Evidence reveals that infants who are exclusively breastfed for six months experience less morbidity from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections than those who are mixed fed. OBJECTIVE: To determine prevalence and factors affecting exclusive breast feeding among mother- infant pairs in kawempe division, kampala district. STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive cross-sectionla study design was used. METHODS: A multi-stage proportional sampling method was employed for the quantitative data collection. At each stage, a proportion of 50% of parishes and villages was taken and mothers were recruited consectively in the selected villages. A total of 595 mother-infant pairs, from 11 parishes in kawempe division were recruited consectively during the study period between july and August 2006. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 3 groups of mothers comprising of 6-8 mothers per group, who were purposely selected to discuss the factors affecting exclusive breast feeding of their children and types of feeds they use. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of EBF was 335/594 (56.3%). The age specific prevalence of EBF at 0-2 months was 85.9% (OR 0.09 95% C1 0.06-0.14); 3-4 months 52.1% (OR 1.48 95% C1 1.05-2.11); 5-6 months (OR 11.89 95% C1 7.34-19.26). However, the design affect of 1.5 used in the calculation of sample size was not in the calculation of the prevalence of EBF. Infants 0-2 months old were 24 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively than thise 3 months and above OR 24 (95% C1 14.63-42.16). Female infants were 1.7 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively than males OR 1.7 (95% C1 1.15-2.610). Mothers with no formal employment were 1.7 times more likely to breastfeed than those with formal employment OR 1.7 (96% C1 1.11-2.83). From the qualitative analysis, factors that hindered EBF included mothers, having inadequate breast milk, going to work, being sick or have breast infections, becoming pregnant, having HIV infection and not allowing them to take their children to places of work. Ll of these factors were largely non- intentional. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was high among infant aged froup 0-2 months at 85.9% which declined to as a low as 21.9% among infants 5-6 months, the overall prevalence of EBF at 6 months among mother-infant pairs in kawempe division was low at 56.3%. The factors that independently affect exclusive breastfeeding were infants age (those between 0-2 moths), sex of infant (female infants), maternal occupation (no formal employment), were more likely to be breastfed exclusively. The factors that hindered EBF were largely non-intensionla and included, inadequate breast milk, mother’s work, sicknessor breast infections, HIV infection, pregnancy anf not allowing mothers to take mothers to take their children to the place of work. RECOMMENDATION: There is need to reinforce the breastfeeding policy through health education with emphasis on promotion, protection and support of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life.