Weaning knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) among Rural Mothers: A Case of Makuyu Division, Maragua District
Wanyoike, Hannah Wairimu
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This was a survey research whose purpose was to investigate the weaning knowledge, attitudes and practices among mothers with infants in Makuyu Division, Maragua District. The major objectives of this study were to (1) determine the level of weaning knowledge among mothers with infants aged birth to 12 months. (2) Investigate the attitudes of mothers towards the weaning process (3) Investigate the weaning practices that mothers carry out. (4) Investigate the cultural beliefs and traditions influencing the weaning process. The data for this study was collected using an interview schedule, which was administered by the researcher to a sample of 160 mothers with infants from Makuyu Division. A sample size of 160 was adequate because this represented almost 10% of the sample frame. In addition, the method of data collection is time consuming and is used in obtaining in-depth information. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and descriptive statistics namely, frequencies and percentages were used. Chi-Square test was used to establish the relationship between socio economic variables and the weaning knowledge attitudes and practices. Tables, graphs and a pie chart were used for data presentation. The findings revealed that most of the respondents were aged between 20 - 29 years. The results also revealed that most of the respondents had reached primary level. Very few mothers were considered to have high knowledge on weaning. It was also found out that the most common source of information on weaning was the hospitals/MCH. The respondents had various attitudes towards weaning and this was measured using a 3-point likert scale ranging from Disagree (1) to Agree (3). The weaning practices by mothers in Makuyu showed that most mothers had started weaning very early before the recommended age (4 - 6 months). The cultural practices and beliefs seemed to influence the mothers, weaning practices. Most of the respondents agreed with the community on the forbidden and recommended food for infants. The most common forbidden foods for infants mentioned were avocado and eggs. The most recommended food for infants mentioned by respondents was raw bananas. Results from the Chi-square test also revealed some of the significant relationships, which were between education level and weaning practices of respondent (X2=4.6 p=0.03), income and weaning practices of the respondent (X2=4.2 p=0.04) and age and weaning attitude of respondent (X2=7.9 p=0.02). Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made to improve weaning. It was recommended that women in Makuyu Division to start income generating projects, to enhance their monthly income, and stop depending on their husbands as their source of income. It was also recommended that the maternal and child welfare clinics, as well as the health workers in Makuyu Division to teach and sensitize mothers with infants, or proper and good weaning practices.