An assessment of complementary feeding practices and their effects on improving chances of child survival in Masindi district, Uganda

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The study aimed at carrying out an assessment of complementary Feeding practices and their effects on improving chances of child survival in Masindi district. It was guided by specific objectives; to assess the effect of complementary feeding practices on infants, to establish the factors affecting safe and appropriate complementary feeding practices, to evaluate the impact of complementary feeding practices on nutrition status and mortality rates. Sampling was done according to Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) Nutrition survey Guidelines. Anthropometric measurements were taken on children ranging (6-24 months). One set of structured questionnaires was administered. Qualitative data was obtained through interviews with Focus group discussions and Key informant. The results obtained indicated that breast feeding was widely practiced with 60% and 51.8% in Miirya and Nyangahya sub counties respectively. Timely complementary infant food was practiced and mothers introduced appropriate foods between 6-10 months. It was found that 46% in both Miirya and Nyangahya feed children on milk tea and there was also wide spread feeding of liquids and foods in this age group. Vaccination coverage in children of 6-24 months was determined by vaccination card record 49%in Miirya had cards and 51% in Nyangahya. For DPT3 was 49% and 51% in measles vaccination it was 48% and 52% in Miirya and Nyangahya respectively. The feeding of Infants and young children was not in line with the Infant and Young Child Feeding Policy with less than 1 % of children receiving 5 meals a day and almost half of the children sharing a plate with adults. This therefore revealed that there is need for a comprehensive social mobilization strategy with an Information, Education and Communication campaign on maternal and infant and young child feeding with specific focus on complementary Feeding. Provision of health and nutrition education by community health workers with more emphasis on breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, food preparation, hygiene, and sanitation targeting is also very crucial. Strengthening of the Maternal and Child Health programs should be done to cub down the prevalence of preventable diseases such as diarrhea and cough. Therefore with all the above, reducing childhood malnutrition requires a multi-sectoral approach that included a variety of interventions to address its major cause.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of a Master Degree in Development Administration and Management of Kampala International University
complementary, feeding practices, child survival, Masindi District