|dc.description.abstract||The main objective of this study was to assess infant feeding practices and nutritional
status of chi Idren aged 0-12 months among Somali community in Eastleigh estate,
Past research on the topic of infant feeding in Somali communities is scarce. In
conducting the literature review, no previous research could be found on Somali
infant feeding practices in Nairobi, Kenya.
A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in five randomly selected health
centres within Eastleigh estate, Nairobi, Kenya, an area inhabited mainly by the
Somali community. A total of 384 mothers, who had children aged 0-12 months, were
interviewed. Out of eleven clinics that offer maternal and child health services in the
area.vfive clinics, were randomly selected for the study and visited. In each of the
clinics, 77/76 mothers with children 0-12 months of age ~ll be interviewed. Mothers
as respondents in each clinic w.,,i-l--l be recruited by means of systematic sampling, i.e.,
every second mother in the queue meeting the inclusion criteria wjll be interviewed
until adequate sample was reached. With the help of five trained field assistants, a
pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect information on infant feeding practices,
nutritional status, and relevant sociodemographic characteristics. Methods used were
respondent interview, anthropometric measurement and focus group discussions.
The SPSS computer package was used for data entry and analysis. Nutritional status
indices such as weight-for-age, height-far-age, and weight-for-height were computed
using the Epi-info programme.
Information was documented for 384 mother-child pairs. More than three quarters,
307 (79.9%), of the respondents reported that they were breastfeeding, at the time of
the study.twhile 77 (20.1 %) were not. About three quarters, 279 (72.7%), of the
respondents reported that they initiated breastfeeding within the first day after
delivery, while only 105 (27.3%) initiated breastfeeding as recommended within the
first hour after delivery. Out of 372 only 20 (5.2%) exclusively breastfed their babies
for the recommended period of 4-6 months. Anthropometric assessment of the
children revealed that 25 (6.5%) were underweight, 24 (6.3%) were wasted, 60
(11.7%) were stunted.
From the foregoing results and discussions on infant feeding practices and nutritional
status, it is concluded that, nutritional status of the study children is not good, feeding
mal-practices in the form of delayed initiation of breastfeeding, early complementary
feeding, and lack of knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding practice as
recommended by WHO are present in the community. The level of exclusive
breastfeeding is extremely low in the study area.