Adherence and knowledge on feeding guidelines among HIV-positive mothers with infants aged 0-6 months in Iganga hospital
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Background: Globally, 14.8 million children were HIV exposed in 2018, 50% of whom were living in sub-Saharan African countries (Slogrove et al., 2020). HIV-Exposed children have higher morbidity and mortality rates than their counterparts who are HIV non-exposed. The most affected are infants aged 0-6 months. However, WHO and MOH have formulated IYCF recommendations within the context of HIV to address this problem but the challenge of adherence still remains. Thus, the mothers’ failure to adhere to these recommendations is attributed to either lack of awareness and understanding of the importance of IYCF guidelines in trying to combat the high morbidity and mortality rates among infants aged 0-6 months. Objective: The purpose of the study, was to assess for adherence and knowledge about IYCFGs within the context of HIV among HIV-positive mothers with infants aged 0-6 months in Iganga general hospital. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 48 HIV-positive mothers with infants aged 0-6 months attending Iganga hospital. A simple random sampling was used in the selection of mothers. A semi-structured questionnaire was used in the collection of data from the respondents. Data analysis was performed using SPSS version 16. Results: The level of adherence was (12.5%) whereas non-adherence was (87.5%) to IYCFGs among HIV-positive mothers. The reasons for non-adherence were; not having enough breastmilk (30.7%), HIV condition changed (29.17%), fear of stigma (4.17%), busy working schedule (8.33%), and fear of partner/relatives (4.17%). In addition, majority of the mothers (66.3%) initiated breastfeeding within one hour after birth while as (33.7%) did not. Reasons for not initiating breastfeeding early were; being HIV positive (22.9%), delivery by caesarean section (6.2%) and baby in incubator (4.2%). As regards to knowledge, (93.8%) of the mothers did not know the importance of early initiation of breast feeding, only (4.2%) new that ERF can only be used if AFASS whereas only (64.6%) knew that mixed feeding increases the risk of HIV MTCT. Conclusion: There was low knowledge on IYCFGs among HIV-positive mothers which led to the low level of adherence.