Knowledge, Perception and Practice of Mothers/Caretakers and Family’s regarding Child Nutrition (under 5 years of age) in Nekemte Town, Ethiopia
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge, perception and practices of mothers/caretakers, families and community regarding child nutrition. A community based descriptive cross-sectional study was employed through quantitative techniques. A semistructured interview and questionnaires was used to collect information in the areas of socio-demographic, knowledge, attitude and practices towards child nutrition and nutritious weaning foods from mothers/caregivers. Of the total 240 mothers interviewed, about 84.2% of mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first 4-6 months, and highest proportions (92.4%) of women have the knowledge that breastfeeding should continue up to 2 years or older. About 55.4% of mothers practiced complementary food starting from 6 months, while significant proportion (42.1%) has introduced before 6 months and 2.1% even did as early as before 4 months of infant’s life. Moreover, significant proportions of mothers have good knowledge on the benefits that breast milk could give to their babies. More than 86.3% of mothers know breast milk is nutritious, healthy, encourages infantmother relationships and 69.1% of them even knows the contraceptive role that EBF could have. Besides, about 72% of mothers have positive attitude towards colostrums, while significant proportion (21%) of mothers wrongly perceived as nutritionally useless. The study also revealed that knowledge, attitude and practice of mothers on child nutrition were found to be influenced by socio-demographic factors and information’s. It can be concluded from this study that improving maternal knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers would have direct impact in changing the nutritional situation of children that will in turn improve rate of child malnutrition.
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