Current knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in Gwale local government area of Kano State

  • Z Iliyasu Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
  • M Kabir
  • IS Abubakar
  • NA Galadanci


This survey was conducted to determine knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding, the initiation and duration of breastfeeding and weaning practices among mothers. A community-based survey was conducted on a cross section of 250 mothers with children under the age of five years in Gwale Local government Area, Kano State. They were interviewed using a pre-tested, structured and closed-ended questionnaire. Information was obtained about their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding, pre-lacteal feeding, initiation and duration of breastfeeding and weaning practices. Of the 250 mothers interviewed, 77 (31%), 105 (42%) and 68 (27%) had good, fair and poor knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding respectively. The proportion of mothers who exclusively breastfed their babies after their last delivery were 26.0%, 24.8% and 22.0% and 1 month, 3 months and 6 months of infant's age respectively. Almost all mothers (96.4%) commenced breastfeeding within 24 hours of delivery. However, only 26% started within 30 minutes. Up to 23.6% of the mothers gave pre-lacteal feeds ranging from water 10.8%), glucose drinks (6.4%), honey (3.2%), cow milk (2.4%) and herbal concoctions (0.8%). Most of the respondents (75.6%) continued to breastfeed till 18-24 months of age. Twenty two percents of mothers breastfed for between 6 and 18 months and the remaining 2.4% stopped before the child was 6 months. Educated respondents were more than three times likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding compared to their uneducated counterparts. [O.R=3.7, 95% CI=1.87 to 7.54, P<0.001]. Occupation, religion, ethnicity and parity were not significantly associated with knowledge or practice of exclusive breastfeeding. Strategies to promote and protect exclusive breastfeeding should aim at improving girl child education, providing appropriate information, education and communication to mothers and scaling up the implementation of the ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative' (BFHI).

Keywords: knowledge, practice, breastfeeding, Kano

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 48(2) 2005: 50-55

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eISSN: 0189-0964