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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-66

Integrated nutritional intervention among mothers of under-five children in two rural communities of Kaduna State, Nigeria: Its effects on maternal practice of exclusive breast feeding and children's nutritional status

1 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna, Nigeria
3 Wellcare Initiative, Nassarawa, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M O Onoja-Alexander
Department of Community Medicine Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/archms.archms_5_16

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Introduction: The World Health Organization recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. Nonexclusive breastfeeding (EBF) causes infant malnutrition which is widespread in most developing countries and accounts for 11% of global disease burden. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of integrated nutritional intervention on maternal knowledge, practice of exclusive breastfeeding, and nutritional status of under-five children in two rural communities of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The study employed a quasi-experimental design, carried out between November 2014 and June 2015 with baseline, intervention, and postintervention phases in two rural communities of Kaduna State, Nigeria (Dangaiya (Sabon Gari Local Government Area [LGA] and Kufena [Zaria LGA] communities). The intervention was conducted among 167 mother/child pairs independently selected from the study and control areas through a multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaire at baseline and 6 months after intervention from both communities. Weights and heights/length of recruited children were measured. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistics software version 20.0. (IBM). Results: The result indicated that malnutrition exists among under-five children in the study area. Postintervention, mothers of the children in the study community had better knowledge of EBF (P = 0.001), duration of EBF (P = 0.001), and recommended total breastfeeding duration (P = 0.001). The change in the malnutrition status of the children was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion: In this study, nutritional education of mothers only had positive impact on their level of knowledge of EBF but not on their practice; therefore, there is a need for the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Local Government Authorities to put in place prolonged (>4 weeks) integrated nutritional interventions with emphasis on correct exclusive breastfeeding practices to improve the level of malnutrition in the state.

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