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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-65

The acceptance and practice of exclusive breastfeeding by female health professionals: Our experience in a tertiary health facility

1 Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kudu, Nigeria
4 Department of Nursing, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ibrahim Aliyu
Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjmsr.mjmsr_1_19

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Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is the feeding of infants with breast milk alone in the first 6 months of life. EBF is an important component of the child survival strategy and the Baby-Friendly Initiative. Exclusively breastfed babies are often at lower risk of diarrhea disease and respiratory tract infection, and they have a better growth pattern. Over the years, there has been a progressive decline in the acceptance of EBF by breastfeeding mothers; this study, therefore, sought to determine the acceptance of EBF among health workers. Materials and Methods: This was cross-sectional and descriptive study involving female health workers who had children while working with Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria; it was conducted between October 2017 and December 2017. Female health workers comprising doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory scientists/technicians were recruited. Pretested, structured, and self-administered questionnaires were used. Results: One hundred and twenty-three respondents were recruited for this study, and 95.1% of the respondents were aware of EBF. Among those who were aware of EBF, 61 (52.1%) correctly defined it and 82 (70.1%) practiced EBF, while among non-EBF mothers, the most common reason for not practicing EBF was the demands of their work; however, only 3 (7.3%) had good knowledge of EBF. Majority of the respondents from the clinical departments practiced EBF, and this observation was statistically significant (χ2 = 11.382, df = 4, P = 0.021). Most of the respondents from the surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology (O and G) departments could not correctly define EBF; this observation was also statistically significant (χ2 = 11.642, df = 4, P = 0.019). Conclusion: Most of the respondents in this study were aware and also practiced EBF; however, their knowledge base of EBF was dismally poor, especially those in the surgery and O and G departments .

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