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Prevalence, Level of Awareness and Socio-Demographic Predictors of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Women of Reproductive Age in Waberi District, Mogadishu, Somalia

Adan Yusuf Mahdi
Japheth Mativo Nzioki
Phidelis Kubende


Background: Breastfeeding is a natural and World Health Organization recommended way of feeding infants and young children. There is a robust body of evidence highlighting the importance of breastfeeding for the optimal health and long-term well-being of women and children worldwide. Breast milk is cheap, convenient, hygienic, and has high concentration of growth and immunity factors. Research indicates that infants who are breast fed exclusively up to 6 months of age have reduced risk of morbidity and mortality. In Somalia, Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) is low. The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of EBF, level of awareness of benefits of EBF, and the socio-demographic predictors of EBF in Waberi district of Mogadishu in Somalia.

Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional survey. The study sample size was 448 households (calculated using Fisher et al., (1998) method. Study participants were women of reproductive age with a child aged over 6 months to 12 months. Purposive and simple random sampling methods were used to identify study area and participants respectively. Data was collected at household level using research assistant administered questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic predictors of practicing EBF among women of reproductive age.

Results: Prevalence of Exclusive Breast-Feeding (EBF) among women of reproductive age in Waberi District of Mogadishu is low at 29.7%. Half of women of reproductive age in Waberi District of Mogadishu (51%) had good understanding of the benefits of EBF, 39.7% had fair knowledge and 9.2% had poor knowledge. The sociodemographic factors which influenced EBF practice among women of reproductive age in Waberi District of Mogadishu are Maternal age (OR 1.273, 95% CI of OR: 1.025-1.580, P<0.05) and Parity (OR 0.752, 95% of OR: 0.636-0.889, P<0.05).

Conclusion: Health interventions targeting young women and new mothers should be conducted to increase level of awareness of the benefits of EBF and prevalence of EBF in Waberi District.

Keywords: Exclusive Breastfeeding, Socio Demographic, Predictors, Mogadishu

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eISSN: 1022-9272