Healthcare Workers’ Knowledge of HIV-Exposed Infant Feeding Options and Infant Feeding Counseling Practice in Northern Nigeria

Author(s): Zubairu Iliyasu*, Hadiza S. Galadanci, Fatima Hassan-Hanga, Zainab Abdulrahman, Fatima Ismail Tsiga, Salisha E. Marryshow, Muktar H. Aliyu.

Journal Name: Current HIV Research

Volume 18 , Issue 1 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: Despite the existence of evidence-based HIV-exposed infant feeding guidelines, infants in Africa still acquire HIV through inappropriate feeding practices.

Objective: To identify predictors of HIV-exposed infant feeding knowledge and counseling practice among health care workers (HCW) in Nigeria.

Methods: Structured, pretested questionnaires were administered to HCW (n=262) in a tertiary health facility in Kano, Nigeria. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of HIV-exposed infant feeding knowledge and counseling practice.

Results: Of 262 respondents, (58.0%, n=152) had good knowledge of recommended feeding options. Respondents listed exclusive breastfeeding (57.6%, n=151), human milk substitutes (45.4%, n=119), HIV-negative wet-nursing (37.0%, n=97), heated expressed human milk (20.6%, n=54) and mixed feeding (13.4%, n=35) as appropriate feeding choices. Over half (57.3%, n=150) of the respondents have ever counseled a HIV-positive mother on infant feeding. Knowledge was predicted by female sex (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=2.47, 95% Confidence Interval (CI):1.35-4.52), profession (physician vs. laboratory scientist, AOR=4.00, 95%CI:1.25-12.87; nurse/midwife vs. laboratory scientist, AOR=2.75, 95%CI:1.17-9.28), infant feeding counseling training (AOR=3.27, 95%CI:1.87-5.71), and number of children (2-4 vs. 0, AOR=1.75, 95%CI:1.23-3.92). Infant feeding counseling was predicted by female sex (AOR=2.85, 95%CI:1.39-5.85), age (>40 vs. <30 years, AOR=3.87, 95%CI:1.27-15.65), knowledge of infant feeding options (good vs. fair/poor, AOR=3.96, 95%CI:2.07-7.59), training (AOR=2.60, 95%CI:1.42-5.32), and profession (physician vs. laboratory scientist, AOR=10.7, 95%CI:2.85-40.54; nurse/midwife vs. laboratory scientist, AOR=4.8, 95%CI:1.26-18.02).

Conclusion: The practice of infant feeding counseling among HCW in Nigeria is associated with sex, knowledge, and profession. Our findings may inform the development of targeted training programs for HCW in similar settings.

Keywords: Health care workers, HIV, Infant feeding, human milk, cross-sectional study, counseling.

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