Characteristics of caregivers and households practicing bottle-feeding in Kisumu east district

  • NO Okeyo
  • SO Konyole
  • LA Okeyo
  • BO Abongo
  • RO Onyango
Keywords: Bottle-feeding, Caregivers, Exclusive breast-feeding, infant


There is documented evidence of increased risk of infant mortality in formula-fed versus breast- fed infants and young children. The potential danger especially in resource-poor settings with poor water and sanitation conditions is well known. In reducing risks associated with the sanitation of feeding equipment, bottle-feeding is often discouraged with cup and spoon promoted as better alternatives. To determine the characteristics of caregivers and households with bottle-fed young under-twos in a
rural community of Kisumu East district, a cross-sectional descriptive survey using a structured questionnaire was carried out. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. Frequencies for non-continuous data were obtained and the relationship between the background variables and the bottle-feeding of the infant/child was established through the chi-square test. A total of 494 caregivers with young ones, under-twos, were interviewed. The findings from the study showed that of the 406 respondents addressing questions on bottle-feeding the previous night prior to the survey, 91 (22.4%) were practicing infant bottle-feeding. Answers to the question “who assisted the mother during delivery”, revealed that 88 children were bottle-fed, 38(43.2%) of whom were delivered under skilled attendance while out of the 314 children not
bottle-fed, 145 (46.2%) were delivered under skilled attendance. Some of the indicators found to be significantly different included: main source of household income which was found to be significantly associated (p=0.044) with bottle-feeding, child’s age was significantly (P =0.008) different with respect to bottle-feeding and breast-feeding initiation after birth was significantly (p = 0.004) associated with bottle-feeding. The tendency to bottle-feed was lower among those with complete immunization status compared to those with incomplete immunization. This association with immunization indicates that facility delivery coupled with faithfulness in visits throughout the immunization schedule, promotes contact with the
health facility staff and potentially has a significant role in promoting good infant and child feeding practices. In conclusion, infant/young child bottle-feeding is still a public health issue in resource-poor settings. Promotion of safe infant/young child feeding practices for improving nutritional and health status of children especially in the resource-poor settings should be advocated especially where bottle-feeding is still in high use. There is need for community-based strategies to bring about a change that addresses the current prevalence of bottle-feeding found in the study area.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358