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Knowledge and attitude on complementary feeding practices among parents or main care givers of children aged less than sixmonths admitted to Paediatric wards at TH/Jaffna

Authors:

P. Tharanitharan ,

Teaching Hospital, Jaffna, LK
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M. G. Sathiadas

Faculty of Medicine, Jaffna, LK
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Abstract

Lack of knowledge is an important barrier of successful complementary feeding practice. Inadequate Information Education Communication (IEC) activities in hospitals and welfare clinics and attractiveness towards the ready to made commercial weaning foods are also contributors of failure.

 

The objective of the study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers or primary care givers regarding complementary feeding. An Institutional based descriptive study conducted in all three paediatric wards of Teaching Hospital Jaffna over a period of one year. A pretested questionnaire was administered to ascertain their knowledge, attitude and practices regarding complementary feeding. Various believes affecting their practices, knowledge on hygienic practices and feeding during illnesses was also assessed.

 

A total of 302 mothers and primary care givers of children aged upto six months admitted to paediatric wards were recruited and 51.3% (n=155) were aware that complementary feeding (CF) had to be introduced at the end of six months. A total of 66 (21.9%) mothers had already started CF but only half of them (10.3%) followed a medical advice. Poor milk flow was the main reason for early CF without medical advice. Around 90% were aware of good hygienic practices while feeding the child. Mothers who strongly agreed to give extra meal for 2 weeks when the child recovered from acute illness and continued it for six months from the child started to gain weight when there was growth faltering were 1.7%(n=5) and 3.3%(n=10) respectively. Nearly 37 (12.3%) mothers strongly agreed that the child’s nutritional needs increased during the illness whereas 54% (n=163) strongly disagreed. Overall 22.8% (n=69) had good knowledge, 74.2% had average knowledge and 3% had poor knowledge about CF. Literacy level, economic status, type of family, marital status of the mother and the ability to read and understand the facts given in CHDR were significantly related (p<0.05) with the knowledge of mothers regarding complementary feeding.

 

Awareness needs to be generated through IEC activities in hospitals and primary care level regarding the benefits and importance of timely complementary feeding.
How to Cite: Tharanitharan P, Sathiadas MG. Knowledge and attitude on complementary feeding practices among parents or main care givers of children aged less than sixmonths admitted to Paediatric wards at TH/Jaffna. Jaffna Medical Journal. 2020;32(2):11–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jmj.v32i2.102
Published on 31 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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