Factors associated with infant feeding practices and nutritional status among children aged 6-24 months attending child welfare clinics in Kajiado Sub-County
Objective: To determine knowledge and practices on infant feeding, socio-demographic factors that influence choice of infant feeding method and nutritional status of children aged 6 to 24 months attending Mother Child Health Clinics (MCH) in Kajiado North Sub-county.
Design: A hospital based cross-sectional study.
Setting: Three public health facilities: Ngong sub-district hospital, Ongata Rongai and Olo-sirkon health centres in Kajiado North Sub-county.
Subjects: Three hundred and fifty mother-child pairs as participants.
Results: All mothers were of reproductive age, mean age was 25 years (95%= 25+-5.03) and 92.6% were married. A high proportion of mothers 94.3% and of their spouses 88.9% had attended formal education at varying levels. Out of the 350 children in the study, 56.3% were males while 43.7% were females, 84.5% of all children being one year and below. Majority of mothers 68.6% had knowledge on infant feeding practices, mainly obtaining information from health workers. Only 38.8% of mothers had complete correct information on both breast and complementary feeding. All children were breastfed at one point in their life, 55.1%, immediately after birth, not all children were exclusively breastfed for the first six months or for a total of two years as recommended. Main reasons for early termination of breastfeeding were, voluntary refusal by the child to breastfeed or feeding on complementary food. Stunting level among the children was 26.5%, underweight level was 11.1% and no child was wasted. There was a significant association between marital status, children age group and stunting using ordinal regression.
Conclusion: The study showed a knowledge gap on infant complementary feeding in area of quality and quantity of food. There is need for further interventions and more education regarding infant feding practices.