Main Article Content
Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is a nutrition specific intervention that is crucial to growth and development of a young child and contributes to the attainment of sustainable development goals.
Aim: To determine the level of awareness, prevalence and determinants of EBF among nursing mothers attending Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities in Uyo Local Government, Nigeria
Place and Duration of Study: three selected Primary Health care facilities in Uyo Local Government (LG) of Akwa Ibom state Nigeria. June-July 2017.
Methods: The study used a descriptive cross sectional design involving 331 mothers attending child welfare clinics in three (PHC) facilities that were selected using simple random sampling techniques. A structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data on socio- demographic characteristics, awareness and practice of EBF. Categorical variables were summarized using percentages, and continuous data using mean and standard deviation, chi square was used to assess the relationship between variables. While multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent predictors of EBF practice .
Results: The level of awareness of EBF and early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF) were 89% and 88.5% respectively and universal awareness was 81.3%. Out of 231 infants below 6 months, 42% of them were currently on EBF and 36.8% (122/331) of the infants 0-12 months had EBF, the EIBF rate was 54.4%, about 45% of the infants had been on infant formula. Mothers who practiced EBF were significantly older than those who did not, the predictors of EBF were; delivery at the health facility (AOR 4.3; 1.84-10.49), normal delivery (AOR 2.3; 1.15-4.4), those with 2 (AOR 1.9; 1.04-3.4) or more than 3 children (AOR 4.7;1.91-9.9), mothers who had opportunity to breastfeed at work place (AOR 4;1.2-12.9) and mothers who were unemployed/self-employed (AOR 7.2; 2.2-23.7).
Conclusion: The practice of EBF remains poor despite relatively high level of awareness, measures such as Community-based breastfeeding support groups, one-on-one counselling and establishment of crèches in workplaces should be put in place. The international codes on marketing of breast-milk substitutes should be fully implemented.