Fathers’ Knowledge, Attitudes And Practices Concerning Young Child Feeding And Nutritional Status Of Children 0-24 Months In The La Nkwantanang Municipal District

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Date

2023-01

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Volume Title

Publisher

University Of Ghana

Abstract

Introduction: Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) during the first 1000 days is critical for the growth and development of children. Research in this area focuses on the input mothers make in the feeding of the child. The efforts of fathers, although under reported, are just as important in determining the nutritional status of a child. The main objective of this study was to assess fathers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in IYCF in the La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal District (LaNMMA) and how this relates to children’s nutritional status. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was employed for this study. Convenience sampling was used select the health facilities and recruit 180 fathers and their children aged 0-24 months. Data were collected on the sociodemographic characteristics of participants, the knowledge, attitudes and practices of fathers (KAP) and the anthropometric measurements of the children. A qualitative aspect was introduced to explore fathers’ roles and barriers of fathers’ involvement. This was conducted by means of a focus group discussion and in-depth interviews.. Results: The mean age of fathers was 34.16 ± 5.63 years. The average age for children was 7.28 ± 5.50 months and females were slightly more than males (51.7% and 48.3% respectively). Fathers of children 0-5 months and 6-24 months had high knowledge (55.1% and 57.1% respectively) but poor practice scores (44.9% and 48.4% respectively). The prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight amongst the children was 18%, 8% and 7% respectively. There was no significant association between the KAP of fathers and the nutritional status of children. From the focus group discussion and in-depth interviews, fathers identified their roles in IYCF as providing support to mothers. Support from fathers was either financial, physical or emotional. Fathers reported that they received information on IYCF from their wives, the grandmothers of their children and the health centers. The fathers indicated that cultural perception of men’s roles, tiredness from work and financial difficulties were barriers to their involvement in infant feeding. Fathers believed being available for their children, education in schools, advertisements, improvement of services at health centers and policy change would help in overcoming their barriers towards IYCF involvement. Conclusion: All fathers had good knowledge and poor practices towards infant feeding. Fathers provided support for their wives and were aware that their involvement in infant feeding was necessary. There is the need to create interventions that specifically address fathers’ barriers towards infant feeding.

Description

MPhil. Nutrition

Keywords

La Nkwantanang Municipal District, Young Child Feeding, Nutritional Status, Children

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