Knowledge, Attitude, Feeding Practices and Nutritional Status of Infants and Young Children in Eseka District, Cameroon


  •  Marlyne-Josephine Mananga    
  •  Kameni Tchamagni Tatiana Roseline    
  •  Meka Jean Luc    
  •  Fokou Elie    
  •  Kana Sop Marie Modestine    

Abstract

There is limited data on the anthropometric indices and feeding practices of infants and young children in Eseka despite the high burden of malnutrition. This study was designed to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, feeding practices and nutritional status of children aged 0-24 months in Eseka District. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among 287 children aged 0-24 months of both sexes together with their mothers or caregivers. Data were collected using a modified questionnaire developed by the FAO/WHO. Information on sociodemographic status, feeding habits and anthropometric parameters were recorded. Anthropometric measurements taken included weight, length, arm circumference and head circumference. The Z-score classifications for malnutrition; weight for length, length for age and weight for age were compared according WHO standards. A subset of 29 children were selected for 24 recall and a 3-day weighed food intake study. There was a low prevalence (47.38%) of early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth. Only 2.44% practised exclusive breastfeeding, while 50% had introduced solids foods before five months and 22.54% after six months. Very few children (13.68% and 29.72%) consumed animal source foods and fruits respectively. The complementary foods consumed by the children were unbalanced, monotonous, poor in protein and some minerals such iron, and rich in fat. Furthermore, the study showed that 39.3%, 16.72% and 13.94% of children were stunted, wasted and underweight respectively. Stunting was highest in children under 6 months. The prevalence of stunting among children is severe public health problem in this age group. Some of the feeding practices are associated with poor nutritional status and can be improved with good nutrition education programs.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0887
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0895
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: quarterly

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