Knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) regarding newborn feeding modalities in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa : a multicentre study.

Tomasoni LR, Galli M, Declich S, Pietra V, Croce F, Pignatelli S, Fabiani M, Simporé J, Mabilia M, Ayella EO, Caracciolo C, Russo G, Guaraldi G, Gambirasio MN, Vullo V, Castelli F.

Int Health. 2011 Mar ;3(1):56-65. doi : 10.1016/j.inhe.2010.11.004.

PMID : 24038051 [PubMed] ;


Exclusive formula feeding, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) with early weaning or the administration of antiretroviral therapy to lactating mothers and/or to breastfed newborns may lower postnatal HIV transmission. The aim of this study was to assess mothers’ knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) on lactation in various real-life settings in sub-Saharan Africa. A questionnaire survey investigating KAP with regard to breastfeeding in pregnant women of unknown status (Questionnaire A, 16 items) or HIV-infected women (Questionnaire B, 37 items) was administered. Associations between newborn feeding KAP and demographic, socioeconomic, cultural and obstetric variables were investigated. From January 2007 to January 2008, 2112 pregnant women answered Questionnaire A in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Most women (53.0%) declared EBF as the preferred feeding modality. The practice of strictly defined EBF in previous pregnancies was only 11.4%, which was inversely correlated with education and parity. Questionnaire B was answered by 225 HIV-infected pregnant women in Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Uganda. Knowledge about the lactation-associated risk was associated with previous dead children. Significant variability was observed among collaborating sites. The introduction of fluids other than maternal milk within 6 months of age is common practice in sub-Saharan Africa, requiring intensive health education efforts if strictly defined EBF is to be adopted to decrease HIV postnatal transmission. Significant variation in newborn feeding determinants was observed.

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