Accepted 11th July, 2014
Challenges of infant feeding options for babies born of HIV positive mothers was carried out to identify difficulties encountered with taking care of babies born of HIV positive mothers who must eat in order to grow. The feeding options may be hampered by ignorance, poverty and inability to care for the materials used in the process. A successful feeding option with no breast feeding is one way of curbing mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV /AIDS. The study looked at challenges from the mother or significant others’ point of view taking into consideration knowledge, attitudes and practices. A cross-sectional study aimed at exploring and explaining the variables was used. The study population was made up of 112 women in three facilities using convenient sampling and a structured questionnaire adapted from the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) approach. Data was analysed using Microsoft Excel and Stata statistical software version 10 were used. Awareness on the prevention of MTCT of HIV (P<0.003), water source (P<0.002) and ownership of a fridge (AOR=3.1, p<0.01) were significantly associated with a safe feeding option. Mixed feeding (64%) was still highly practiced. Feeding the mother (37%), money (33%), frequent sucking by baby (20%) and adequate hygienic conditions (36%) were challenges of a safe feeding option. Strengthening infant feeding counselling and encouraging health promotion interventions at all levels are essential to curb vertical transmission and enhanced child survival.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, MTCT, infant feeding options, challenges