Determinants of exclusive breastfeeding in Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania

Melina Mgongo, Tamara Hussein Hashim, Jacqueline Gilbert Uriyo, Damian Jeremia Damian, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Sia Emmanuel Msuya
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Background: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) practice is safe and simple intervention in improving child health and growth. However the practice of EBF is still low especially in developing countries.

Objective: The objective of this paper is to assess the factors associated with EBF among women with infants’ aged 0-5 months in Kilimanjaro region.

Methods: This was a population based cross sectional study conducted between June 2010 and March 2011 in Kilimanjaro region to investigate local factors for adverse child development. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio demographic data, breastfeeding history and reproductive information from mothers. Recall since birth was used to estimate EBF prevalence. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the factors associated with EBF among women with infants’ aged 0-5 months in Kilimanjaro region.

Results: Out of 462 women, 95% (n=437) were still breastfeeding their infants during the study period. About 29% of mothers with infants aged 0-5 months reported to practice EBF during the study period. In multivariable logistic regression, advise on breastfeeding after delivery (adjusted odds ratio, AOR (2.1; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.6), mothers with infants aged 2-3 months [AOR=0.5; 95%CI: 0.3, 0.8] and mothers with infants aged 4-5 months [AOR=0.1; 95%CI: 0.1, 0.2] remained associated with EBF of 0-5 months.

Conclusion: Intervention using women who have succeeded to practice exclusive breastfeeding to educate other women who are lactating may be one of the strategies that may help to increase the practice of EBF in Kilimanjaro region.