BARRIERS TO EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING PRACTICE AMONG HIV POSITIVE MOTHERS ATTENDING PREVENTION OF MOTHER TO CHILD TRANSMISSION CLINIC, SAGAMU, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
Mother-to-child HIV transmission occurs during pregnancy, at birth and during breastfeeding and it is the leading cause of infant mortality in Africa where 1700 children are infected each day principally by mother to child transmission, without antiretroviral treatment. This study therefore examined the barriers to exclusive breastfeeding practice among HIV positive mothers attending prevention of mother to child transmission clinic, Sagamu, Ogun State.
The study employed cross-sectional design. Purposive sampling method was used to select the 85 HIV positive mothers attending Prevention of mother to child transmission clinic in Ogun state. These 85 respondents participated in the study, using a validated structured questionnaire (Cronbach alpha result was 0.712) to measure the level of knowledge of HIV positive mothers in Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) on mother to child transmission of HIV, to ascertain the perceived barriers to exclusive breastfeeding practice, to determine the roles individual beliefs play in exclusive breastfeeding practice among HIV positive mothers in OOUTH and to assess the practice level of EBF adoption among HIV positive mothers in OOUTH, Ogun state. Data were analysed and presented as descriptive statistics using SPSS version 21 was used to analyse the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, mean and standard deviation were also used to analyse the findings from the study. The significance level was tested at P < 0.05.
Findings revealed that the mean age of respondents was given at 35.89 ± 6.176. There were 42 respondents (49.4%) with secondary school education and another 25 respondents (29.4%) with primary education, only 10 respondents (11.8%) had tertiary education. This indicated that more respondents with less than secondary school education receive treatment in this centre. Results also showed that respondents’ knowledge on mother to child transmission of HIV stood at 86.25% which indicated its high priority. The perceived barriers to this research work are:that their babies would get infected through breast milk,may not get enough nutrients from only breast milk, while some believedEBF would make their nipples sore. The overall respondents’ perceived barriers indicated a barrier presence of 26% which showed a little above a quarter barriers preventing them from practicing exclusive breastfeeding. It was found that respondents’ individual beliefs had a 25.9% influence on respondents practice of EBF. Findings also revealed that exclusive breastfeeding was practiced at a level slightly above average (52.17%).
This study showed that despite a high level of knowledge on PMTCT by respondents and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, the practice of EBF was just above average. There is need to further reinforce the improvement on the practice of exclusive breastfeeding especially among HIV positive mothers. There is a need to explore salient factors predicting practice of exclusive breastfeeding among HIV positive mothers as most of the identified barriers were not rampant among this community of individuals. Findings from this study revealed that there is need for a public health program aimed at establishing an external motivation to improve exclusive breastfeeding among HIV positive mothers. This study therefore recommends that there is need for a public health program aimed at establishing an external motivation to improve exclusive breastfeeding among HIV positive mothers.Few studies have identified that influence of spouses on improvement of EBF practice, this can be used in designing intervention towards improving EBF among this community of people.
Keywords: Barriers, Exclusive Breastfeeding, Practice, HIV, Prevention, Transmission.