Conference abstract

Effect of health education on the knowledge, attitude and practice of exclusive breast feeding among mothers in rural communities in Enugu-East Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(82).09 Dec 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.82.664

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Keywords: Exclusive, breastfeeding, health, education, intervention
Opening ceremony

Effect of health education on the knowledge, attitude and practice of exclusive breast feeding among mothers in rural communities in Enugu-East Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria

Uchechukwu Joel Okenwa1, Douglas Nwagbo2, Paulinus Ossai3, Ajumobi Olufemi1, Nguku Patrick1

1Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Department of community medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria, 3Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Enugu, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Uchechukwu Joel Okenwa, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract

Introduction: the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding up to two years or beyond. Promotion of EBF is the single most cost-effective intervention to reduce infant mortality in developing countries. In view of the above, we assessed the effect of health education intervention on exclusive breast feeding.

Methods: this is a quasi-experimental study design conducted between February and June 2013. Multi-stage sampling method was used to select 384 and 371 respondents for study and control respectively. These were pregnant women from 16 rural communities of Enugu-East LGA of Enugu State at their last month of gestation and had at least breast-fed a baby. They were administered questionnaire on knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) about exclusive breastfeeding. Both groups were monitored after delivery and followed with the KAP questionnaire as they come for the child’s immunizations till 14 weeks.

Results: majority of our respondents were between the ages of 20 and 39 years and most of them went beyond primary education. Over 80% of respondents in pre-and post-intervention had heard about EBF among both intervention and control groups. However in-depth knowledge of EBF was lacking. Before intervention 65% of mothers in the intervention group practiced pre-lacteal feeding and 53% in the control while in post-intervention, it was 23% of the intervention group compared to 51% in the control (p-value <0.000). Moreover, pre-intervention, 65% of the intervention group practiced early introduction of other breast-substitute compared to 81% of the control whereas in post-intervention, it was 20% in the intervention group compared to 82% in the control (p-value 0.000). Only 34% and 28% of the mothers in the intervention and control groups respectively practiced correct positioning and attachment to the breast. However, in post-intervention, it was 76% of the intervention group compared to 31% of the control (p-value 0.000). The prevalence of EBF at 14 weeks in intervention group was 13% as against 9% in the control pre-intervention whereas in post-intervention, it was 48% in intervention group and 9% in the control (p-value <0.000).

Conclusion: health education intervention was found to have successfully improved the knowledge and practice of EBF. We therefore recommended health education to improve the practice of EBF among mothers.