Is Nutritional Knowledge in Mothers Associated with Recommended Infant Feeding Practices in Children 0-24 Months in the Lubombo Region of Eswatini?



Dallmeier, Alina

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Objectives: A cross-sectional study design was used to assess knowledge and practices among mothers (18-49 years) with at least one young child (0-24 months old) in the Siphofaneni Tinkhundla (Administrative subdivision) of the Lubombo region of eSwatini. The purpose of this study was to determine whether nutritional knowledge is associated with recommended infant and young child feeding practices among mothers in the Lubombo region of eSwatini. Methods: Quantitative data was collected through one-on-one interviews, over the course of a two-week period. The questionnaire was split up into four sections 1.) Sociodemographic 2.) Household Food Security Assessment 3.) Nutrition Practices 4.) Nutrition Knowledge. A total of 164 mothers were interviewed from Siphofaneni chiefdom of the Lubombo region of Eswatini. Mothers who fit the inclusion criteria were recruited by community health workers in each chiefdom of Siphofaneni. The mothers who were included in the dataset were 18 to 48 years old with a mean of 26.95 (SD 6.5). Their children’s age ranged from 0-24 months with a mean of 10.4 months (SD 6.3). Results: The total knowledge score ranged from 8 to 44 with a mean of 21.8 (SD 6.14). Approximately 92% have heard of exclusive breastfeeding, of those mothers, 87% were able to properly explain what it was. Ninety three percent of infants 0-5 months received breastmilk, but less than half of the 0-5 months were exclusively breastfed. The range of scores mothers received on breastfeeding knowledge was 1-17 with a mean of 8.9 (SD 2.5). The mothers answered 12 questions about micronutrients, with a total possible score of 25. The range of scores was 0-15 with a mean of 4.7 (SD 3.6). The mean for the Minimum Diet Diversity score was 3.7 (SD 1.38). A logistic regression was performed to determine a statistical significance association between breastfeeding practices and nutrition knowledge, and association between diet diversity and nutrition knowledge. Breastfeeding practices was not significantly associated with nutrition knowledge. Diet Diversity scores and nutrition knowledge were significantly associated p= .009.


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Infant feeding, Maternal health, Nutrition knowledge, Global health