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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC Nutrition
Title Do the feeding practices and nutrition status among HIV-exposed infants less than 6 months of age follow the recommended guidelines in Bomet County, Kenya?
Volume 2
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40795-016-0084-4
Globally, about 1.5 million pregnancies are among women living with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV). In 2013, an estimated overall HIV prevalence of 0.34 % was reported in antenatal women in Kenya, with 13,000 new HIV infections among children. Appropriate feeding practices and good nutrition status are important for the survival, growth, development and health of HIV-exposed infants, as well as the wellbeing of their mothers. The purpose of this study was to determine the feeding practices and nutrition status of HIV-exposed infants 0–5 months of age, attending the paediatric clinic in a mission hospital in Bomet County, Kenya.

This was a cross-sectional study with quantitative and qualitative techniques in data collection and analysis. A comprehensive sample of 118 mothers/caregivers with HIV-exposed infants 0–5 months of age participated in the study. The data was analysed using SPSS software. Statistical significance was set at p values less than 0.05.

Exclusive breastfeeding was practiced by the majority of the participants (73.7 %), 14.4 % practiced exclusive replacement feeding and 11.9 % mixed fed their infants. More than half the infants had normal length for age (57.7 %), weight for age (60.2 %) and weight for length (76.3 %). About a third (38.1 %) of the infants were stunted, 39 % were underweight and 19.5 % were wasted. Infants on mixed feeding were more likely to be stunted (OR = 2.401; 95 % CI: 0.906–5.806; p = 0.001) or underweight (OR = 2.001; 95 % CI: 0.328–6.124; p = 0.001) compared to those on exclusive breastfeeding. There was however, no significant difference in the likelihood for wasting among infants on exclusive breastfeeding, compared to those on exclusive replacement feeding (OR = 0.186; 95 % CI: 0.011–3.130; p = 0.996) or mixed feeding (OR = 1.528; 95 % CI: 0.294–7.954; p = 0.614). No significant differences were observed in the likelihood for malnutrition among infants on exclusive breastfeeding, compared to those on exclusive replacement feeding.

Most mothers/caregivers fed their infants as recommended. The 11.9 % who did not observe the recommendations were however, at risk for contracting HIV. We recommend that the Ministry of Health and National AIDS and STI Control Programme develop a policy to support infants who qualify for exclusive replacement feeding but whose mothers/caregivers face constraints in compliance.

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