The Demographic Characteristics of Mothers and their Compliance Levels with Infant and Young Child Feeding Recommendations in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
Njeri, Kamau Anne
Mwaniki, . Joyce
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Universally, optimal IYCF key indicators are low and current IYCF practices remain far from recommended levels. In Kenya, the National IYCF strategy recommends that infants should be exclusively breast fed for the first six month of life. The study was therefore conducted to explore the level of mothers’ compliance with the IYCF recommendations among children aged 0-24 months in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya. Informed by the study, this paper examines the demographic and socio-economic characteristics and level of compliance with IYCF recommendations among women. Data for the study was collected using interview questionnaire adapted from the WHO questionnaire on the 24-hour recall food diversity. Nine research assistants were trained and used to collect data from 377 mothers with children aged 0-24 months. From the study findings, mothers’ IYCF practice was predominantly early introduction of solids, semi-solid and soft food as early as 2 months. Based on the findings, the study recommended that policy makers need to come up with IYCF policies that would reach the mothers in the community with practical IYCF intervention. In addition, County Health System to ensure the CHEW monitor and evaluate of IYCF compliance at family level. The study established that 37.9% of the mothers were aged 25-29 years, 86% were married, 37% had attained secondary education and 40.6% were housewives. Over half (57%) of the children in the mother-child pair were aged 7-24 months while 62.1% were subsequent birth (second to seventh) with only 37.9% being first-born. The mothers’ level of compliance with IYCF recommendation was rated at 55%. Consequently, it is recommended that IYCF information should be targeted at all mothers who are implementers of IYCF recommendations at family level irrespective of neither demographic nor socioeconomic variables at HF by the CHN.