Factors associated with non-compliance to exclusive infant formula feeding among HIV-positive mothers in Nairobi, Kenya
In 2007, about 420,000 children globally aged 14 years and below were newly infected with HIV. Over 90% of these newly infected children were babies born to HIV-positive mothers, who acquired the virus during pregnancy, labour or delivery and through mothers’ breast milk. In Kenya, a 30% prevalence rate of mixed feeding has been reported in previous studies, posing a serious public health problem since it is associated with a greater risk for HIV transmission. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with non-compliance to exclusive infant formula feeding among HIV-infected mothers at the Pumwani Maternity Hospital. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample size of 323. The findings showed that 20.7% of the mothers had ever practiced mixed feeding. The risk factors associated with mixed feeding included: low educational level, visit by relatives, lack of transport to collect the free formula milk, travelling with a baby after delivery and running out of fuel. The findings of this study therefore show that other external factors need to be considered for the success of a free
formula feeding program. It is important to ensure that HIV positive mothers have enough resources to support un-interrupted supply of infant formula. Further, HIV/AIDS related stigma and lack of disclosure of one’s status to the in-relatives remains to be a major challenge facing HIV positive mothers.
Keywords: Non-compliance, formula feeding, PMTCT