A CRITICAL STUDY ON THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF INFANT FEEDING OPTIONS AMONG HIV POSITIVE MOTHERS ATTENDING HEALTH
The survey study was conducted on factors influencing the choice of infant feeding options among HIV positive mothers attending health facilities in Ogoja, Cross River State. The purpose was to investigate factors influencing the choice of infant feeding options among HIV positive mothers in Ogoja, Cross River State. Four objectives and four research questions were used to guide the study. Literatures were reviewed. The population for the study was all HIV positive mothers attending health facilities in Ogoja from January-December 2011-2013, with a total of 136 registered HIV positive mothers. There was no sampling because the total population was included in the study. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire with two sections. Section A had 8 items on socio-demographic characteristics. Section B was made up of 10 items rating scale of Yes and No. Data was analyzed using chi-square statistics. Result revealed that marital status (x2= 20.924, p<.00), religious status (x2 = 14.972, p<.05), maternal health condition (x2=12.436, p<.02), limited time to breastfeed baby because of work (x2 =11.065, p<.04) and baby’s refusal to take breast milk (x2 = 18.318, p<.00) significantly influenced HIV positive mothers’ choice of infant feeding options. Major findings reveal that marital status, religious status, maternal health condition, limited time to breast feed baby because of work and baby’s refusal to take breast milk had significant influence on infant feeding options. Based on the findings it was recommended that HIV positive mothers should be sensitized by HIV/PMTCT counselors with necessary knowledge for the choice of infant feeding options.
Background to the Study
Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV) is a chronic, health problem with symptoms appearing anytime from several months to years. HIV is found among all known populations of the world, including the embryonic population (unborn babies) and the breastfed babies. World Health Organization, (WHO, 2011) revealed that more than eleven million people worldwide had died of AIDS, while another 3.6 million of people are already infected with HIV, with a daily infection rate of over 16,000 people globally. It was observed by Anyebe, Whiskey, Ajayi, Garba, Ochigbo and Lawal (2011) that by 2002, 42 million people had been infected with HIV/AIDS globally, 38.6 million of them were adults of which 19.2 million were women. More than 3 million children below the age of 15 were infected worldwide within the same period with about 5 million new infections being recorded yearly. Nearly two thirds of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, an estimated 600,000 children are infected vertically (in utero) each year, while in places where women do not breastfeed, most of the transmission occurs at the time of labor and delivery, (Okon, 2011).
In Nigeria where most women breastfeed, there is an additional risk. About 800,000 were infected out of 5.8 million in 2003 were infants and children of which 90% of these got infected through their mothers, occurring at three levels; antepartum, intrapartum and breastfeeding (Okon, 2011). There is no cure for HIV currently available, but prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) appears to be the most important intervention (Family Health International, 2004). American international health alliance (AIHA, 2008) in Ajayi, Hellandendu and Odekunle (2011) posited that ‘’ther e is no cure for HIV, but prevention of vertical transmission of HIV to include voluntary counseling and testing, (VCT) , ante-retroviral therapy, elective caesarean section; replacement of infant feed or modified breastfeeding, and restrictive use of invasive procedure such as artificial rupture of membrane, (ARM),episiotomies and cleansing of the birth canal with a microbite during labor and delivery.
Sadoh, Adeniran and Abhulimhen-Iyohas (2008) opined that exclusive breastfeeding is the ideal practice among HIV infected mothers in the first six months of life, as recommended currently, followed by replacement feeding (any formula food rather than breast milk).