Topical Area: Nutritional Epidemiology
Objectives : Poor infant and young child feeding practices (IYCF) can undermine the nutrition and health status of individuals in vulnerable households. Bauchi state, Nigeria, has the fourth highest prevalence of child malnutrition in the country, yet over 80% of the population is involved in agriculture. This study evaluated the predictors of IYCF practices of rural farming households in Bauchi state, Nigeria
Methods : This study was conducted in six Local Government Areas of Bauchi state. A total of 720 mothers and fathers were selected from households with at least one child under 5 years. Household socio-demographic features and information on infant and young child feeding (IYCF questionnaire of the World Health Organization), were collected using Open Data Kit Collect, a mobile app. Descriptive statistics were computed, and relationships between variables were evaluated using Spearman’s rank correlation and multivariate analyses.
The mean age (27.2 ± 7.2 years vs. 41.7 ± 10.6 years) and monthly income (~$4.85 vs. ~$39.88) of the mothers and fathers respectively, were different (p< 0.05). Twenty-six (3.9%) mothers and 165 (23%) fathers had completed secondary or post-secondary education. The rates of exclusive (20.7%) and timely initiation (29.0%) of breastfeeding were poor. Only 26.0% of children 6-23 mo. received the minimum acceptable diet (minimum dietary diversity and meal frequency). Mothers’ education was positively correlated with the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, while continued breastfeeding at 15 months of age was positively associated with fathers’ income (p< 0.05). Both mothers’ and fathers’ income and education were positively associated with dietary diversity (p< 0.05). Low income and poor education of mothers were negative predictors of timely initiation of breastfeeding, while mothers’ occupation, household size, and the number of children per household were negative predictors of dietary diversity (p< 0.05).
Infant and young child feeding practices in the rural farming area were influenced by parents’ income and education, and were below optimum levels needed to prevent malnutrition.
Funding Sources :
This research was funded by Oxfam LINE Project, Nigeria.