Child feeding knowledge and practices among women participating in growth monitoring and promotion in Accra, Ghana
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Legon, P.O. Box LG 134, Accra, Ghana; School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, P.O. Box LG 13, Accra, Ghana
Background: Child undernutrition and poor feeding practices remain a concern in Ghana. The Growth Monitoring and Promotion (GMP) programme seeks to empower mothers to provide appropriate child care. Although the program has been implemented in Ghana for over four decades, little is known about its impact on child feeding outcomes. The current study assessed the association between GMP exposure and mothers' child feeding knowledge and practices in the Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA), Ghana.Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 199 mother-child pairs accessing child welfare services in six public health facilities in the AMA was conducted. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on respondent characteristics and child feeding knowledge a 24-hour dietary recall tool was used to record child feeding practices. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the association between mothers' exposure to GMP and their knowledge and practices on child feeding.Results: Seventy four percent of mothers had not missed any scheduled child welfare clinic sessions. Over 60% of mothers knew the appropriate age of introduction of foods; 86% also gave correct response regarding minimum number of times their child should be fed daily. About 81% of children less than 6 months were exclusively breastfed in the preceding 24 hours, although 36% had received water since birth. Forty two percent of children 6-23 months received dietary diverse meals while 64% were fed the required number of times in a day. Overall, only 32% of children 6-23 months received a minimum acceptable diet in the preceding 24 hours. A higher GMP exposure was positively associated with feeding knowledge scores among mothers with children below 6 months (p < 0.05).Conclusion: Although most mothers were knowledgeable about recommendations, feeding practices were suboptimal, especially complementary feeding. GMP exposure was associated with feeding knowledge only among mothers with children less than 6 months. Strengthening of feeding counselling focused on children above 6 months is recommended. © 2014 Gyampoh et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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