Determinants of exclusive breastfeeding: a study of two sub-districts in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of Ghana
AbstractIntroduction: optimal breastfeeding rates have not been encouraging globally with sub-optimal feeding being customized in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, in the Atwima Nwabiagya district of Ghana, the message of Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) has caught up well with many nursing mothers. we examined the determinants of EBF vis-à-vis performance of a community based growth promotion strategy in the Atwima Nwabiagya District of the Ashanti region of Ghana. Methods: the study employed a cross- sectional comparative study design to analyse the impact of a community based growth promotion strategy on exclusive breastfeeding in Abuakwa and Barekese, both in the Atwima Nwabiagya district of Ghana. Simple random sampling was used to select three communities each from the two sub-districts. Data collection tool employed was a standard questionnaire consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The variables were EBF knowledge level of mothers, cultural practices affecting EBF practice, occupational hindrances and the level of community participation in EBF activities. Results: in all three hundred (300) nursing mothers of babies (0-12 months) were purposively interviewed. Results showed that mother's level of knowledge about EBF was good as such the practice was high. In addition, cultural practices in the area did not deter mothers from practicing exclusive breastfeeding. A univariate logistic model revealed that unmarried mothers were less likely to practice EBF compared to mothers who were married (OR=0.46, 95% CI 0.28, 0.77). Conclusion: the Community Based Growth Promotion strategy has had an impact on the practice of EBF in the district. It is recommended that the collapsed initiative be reawaken if the stakes are to be maintained. There is also the need to address mothers' occupational needs and effective breastfeeding practices as this emerged as a major set-back to the practice of EBF among the participants.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2015;22
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