Nutrition status and paternal involvement in complementary feeding of children 6-23 months at Child Health and Development Centre, Mulago Hospital.
Background: Poor nutrition status of children in Uganda is a public health concern, 29% of all children less than five years are still stunted. However despite the interventions to improve the nutrition status of children, the role and magnitude of paternal involvement in child care and feeding remains unknown. Objectives: The main objective of the study was to determine nutrition status and the associated factors and the level of paternal involvement in complementary feeding of children 6-23 months at Child Health and Development Centre in Mulago Hospital. Methods: This was a cross sectional study and 333 children were selected to participate in the study using simple random sampling. Quantitative data was collected using a structured administered questionnaire. This study determined the nutrition status using MUAC tapes, height board and a weighing scale. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was performed with the help of backward approach in data analysis to establish associations. Results: The prevalence of stunting (Z-scores for height for age <-2) was 14.4%, underweight (Z- scores for weight for age <-2) was 4.8% and wasting (Z-scores for weight for height <-2) was 1.8%. The level of paternal involvement in complementary feeding practices was 54.1%. Paternal involvement (AOR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.34 -1.33, P = 0.263), (AOR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.22-2.02, P= 0.490) was not statistically associated with stunting and underweight respectively. However, children with age bracket 9-11 months (AOR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.08-0.53, P = 0.001), children whose fathers had only Secondary (AOR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.08-0.50, P= 0.025), Primary (AOR: 0.22 95% CI: 0.16-0.56, P=0.002) levels of education and children who were feed with only one food type (Diary products) in 24 hours (AOR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.15-0.83, P= 0.017) had lower odds of stunting. Children whose fathers had only primary level of education (AOR: 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01-0.66, P=0.019) had lower odds of underweight. Conclusion and recommendations: Advocacy for food diversity during nutrition sessions should be done at the ward to increase awareness about food diversification and the interventions should focus on children aged 9-11 months. The involvement of fathers in complementary feeding practices was not associated with the nutrition status of children.