Exclusive breast-feeding: beliefs and practices in Rakai health units.
Ssenyonga, K. Richard
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This was a cross-sectional study on exclusive breast-feeding in Rakai, rural district in Uganda. Study subjects were mothers of infants aged 0-6 months attending health units in Rakai during the months of March and April 2002. A total of 353 mothers participated in the study. The main aims of the study were to find out the prevalence of EBF amongst infants under six months of age in Rakai district, knowledge and attitudes of their mothers towards the practice of EBF from birth of an infant to six months of age and the factors that hinder or facilitate the practice of EBF of infants from birth to six months of age. Data analysis was done using STATA and the factors associated with exclusive breast-feeding found by both bi-variate and multi-variate analysis. The study found that although breast feeding is almost universal in Rakai (98.3%), It is not commonly exclusive, with the prevalence of EBF amongst infants under six months only 36.2% whereas for those under four months was 40.4%. A very high (62%) rate of use of pre-lacteal feeds was found. The factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding from birth were; place of delivery, sex of infant and age group of infant. Suggestions for improvement were made and areas of further research suggested.