African Health Sciences

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Knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding in Kware, Nigeria

MO Oche, AS Umar, H Ahmed


Background: For almost all infants, breastfeeding remains the simplest, healthiest and least expensive feeding method that fulfils the infants’ needs. Despite strong evidence in support of Exclusive breast feding (EBF) for the first six months of life, its prevalence has remained low worldwide. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving women of child bearing age in Kware town of Sokoto State. One in eight samples of 179 mother-child pairs were selected and information regarding their knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding obtained using a set of structured interviewer administered questionnaires. Results: A total of 54(31%) of the mothers had adequate knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding with 94(53%) of them initiating breastfeeding immediately after birth. Only 55(31%) of the mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding. Out of the 53 mothers that stopped breastfeeding, 85% of them did so between 16-20months. Conclusion: Although breastfeeding was universal in this community, the knowledge and practice of EBF was low. There is a need to institute interventions aimed at early initiation of breastfeeding and improving the knowledge and practice of EBF towards achieving the goals of MDG-4 in the study community.

Keywords: Mothers, breastfeeding, knowledge & practice, Kware

African Health Sciences 2011; 11(3): 518 - 523

AJOL African Journals Online