Research Article - Journal of Nutrition and Human Health (2018) Volume 2, Issue 2
Nutrition education strategy with father involvement to improve infant feeding practices in Kisumu, Kenya.
Fathers' support is an essential component in ensuring success in improving the infant feeding practices. A nutrition education intervention strategy was employed targeting the fathers in the intervention group with information on breastfeeding and complementary feeding over the one year research period. A total of 290 father-and-mothers to be paired were recruited. Study participants were randomized into either intervention group (n=145 pairs) or control group (n=145 pairs). The fathers completed a pre-tested structured questionnaire that explored their knowledge of breastfeeding pre and post-intervention. Kisumu County was selected because of the high infant mortality rate (105 deaths per 1,000 live births) in the region. Our results did not show any statistically significant differences in the knowledge level on breastfeeding of fathers in the intervention and control group pre-intervention based on odds ratio test of the following indicators: initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth (p=0.44), exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (p=0.79) and breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond (p=0.90). However, statistically, significant differences were observed post-intervention as follows: initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth (p=0.02), exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (p=<0.01) and breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond (p=0.01). A Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed a statistically significant change in knowledge of the fathers in the intervention group after receiving the nutrition education sessions (Z=-10.181, p=0.000). Therefore, we conclude from our study that nutrition education targeting the fathers increases their knowledge on breastfeeding and this presents a good opportunity to enhance their support towards the mother, ultimately contributing to improved infants feeding practices.Author(s): Lynette AD, Beatrice NK , Florence K