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Infant Feeding Choices and Practices as Risk Factors of Mother-to-Child-Transmission of HIV among Exposed Infants in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi

PO Adogu, SA Nwabueze, ED Adinma, AL Ilika, JI Ikechebelu

Abstract


Background: Mother to child transmission of HIV infection (vertical transmission) is of major concern, because of the attendant consequences of morbidity and mortality on the child. The success of a prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme in reducing sero-conversion among exposed newborn infants is determined by many factors, including the administration of Anti Retroviral drugs to both HIVpositive mothers and their newborns; infant feeding practices; access to and use of well-baby care; and the health system's ability to provide care, including counseling and support to both the HIV-positive mother and her exposed newborn.
Aim: This study is aimed at examining the various infant feeding choices and practices as risk factors of mother to child transmission of HIV among exposed infants in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria.
Method: The study design is descriptive cross-sectional. A total of 288 consenting HIV positive mothers of recruited children were selected using the systematic sampling technique. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured interviewer-administered questionnaire, and analyzed by means of the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) software.
Result: The mean age of the respondents was 30.46+4.86 years. Majority of the patients were married, and most of them were traders. Inadequate receipt of replacement feed, breastfeeding of an HIV exposed infant, duration of breast feeding among others constitute significant determinants of current health status of baby (p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.006 respectively.
Conclusion: Infant feeding counseling should be reinforced and the practices strengthened and monitored closely in the PMTCT program so as to significantly reduce child/infant morbidity and mortality on one hand, and transmission of HIV infection from the mothers to their children, on the other.



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