Prevalence of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Infants Under 6 Months Old Attending Mnazi Mmoja Hospital Zanzibar
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Background: Breastfeeding is an important tool of preventing childhood illnesses, obesity, and hypertension later on in life. In addition it reduces the cost to the family and the entire country. Exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended for the first six months of life. There is a lack of up to date data on the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in Zanzibar. Since Zanzibar is semi -autonomous country, locally relevant research will better inform policy formulation of government's policy on promotion of EBF in a country whose cultural and life style offers little supportive to EBF.(Zanzibar) Objectives: To determine the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers with the infants under 6 months of age attending MCH clinic at Mnazi mmoja hospital Zanzibar , and to identify the factors associated with EBF. Method : This was a cross section hospital based study. The mothers who attended MCH clinic were screened to determine their eligibility( mothers with infants under 6 months of age). The study was explained to the eligible candidates , and informed consent was obtained.. Those mothers who accepted signed the consent, and were enrolled into the study. A questionnaire was administered for collecting the data from 248 mother infant -pair . All the infants whose mothers were interviewed were examined the mothers found to have poor knowledge or practice of breastfeeding was counseled. Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive hospital based study. Study Area: Mnazi mmoja hospital MCH clinic Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding for the infants aged < 6 months was 48.3%. The prevalence of EBF was 68.1% among < 2 months old infants, 52.5% among 2-3 months old infants and 25% among 4-5months old infants. The male infants were 58.9%, slightly more than females. The mean age of the mothers who were interviewed was 29 years. 57.3% of mothers were multi gravid, 76.7% were married, 58.5% had secondary education, and 47.2% were housewives. Majority of mothers attended antenatal clinic (ANC) 97.5%. Initiator of breastfeeding within the first hour after birth was 79.9% and 79.8% knew that breastfeeding was nutritious to the baby. The factors which were found to be associated with more of exclusively breastfeeding were occupation of the mother with p value of 0.05, education of the mother p value of 0.01, attending the ANC of p value of 0.02. There was no statistically significant association between exclusive breastfeeding and sex of the baby, parity, age of the mother, mode of delivery. Conclusion: The prevalence of exclusive breast feeding among the infants aged < 6 month at Mnazi mmoja hospital was 48.3%. There was a gradual decline in rate from at < 2 months 68% to 25% at 4-5 month .Mothers with higher education were more likely to exclusive breastfeed their infants. And least when the mother is in formal employment. Recommendations: More training and awareness campaigns should be done to improve the prevalence of EBF in Zanzibar. The mothers in formal employment should be given more support to enable them exclusively breastfeed their infants longer.
University of Nairobi
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