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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-120

Prevalence of timely introduction of complementary feeding and its related factors in children 6–24 months of age in Hyderabad, Pakistan

1 Monitoring and Evaluation Department, JHPIEGO , Karachi, Pakistan
2 Department of Social Franchising, Marie Stopes Society, Karachi, Pakistan
3 School of Medicine, Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Saadat Khokhar
Monitoring and Evaluation Department, JHPIEGO Pakistan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nms.nms_19_17

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Background: A child at the age of 6 months requires an additional and improved nutrition, besides mother's milk for better growth and immunity, to protect them from many diseases. Lack of timely initiation of complementary feeding (CF) is an important cause of undernutrition in children under 5 years of age which is an underlying cause of more than 40% of morbidity and mortality. Objectives: The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of and factors related to timely introduction of CF in children 6–24 months of age. Methods: This was a mixed-method study. This study was conducted in a rural area of Hyderabad, Pakistan. A sample of 106 households was selected through multistage sampling technique. Mothers of children between 6 and 24 months of age were interviewed through questionnaire and in-depth interview guide for quantitative and qualitative parts, respectively. Results: The prevalence of early initiation of CF in the study area was found out to be 48%, those who started in time believed that children were old enough (42%) or the child was crying excessively (33%), and hence, they had to introduce complementary foods for children. In total, around 63% of mothers were empowered to decide about their children feeding. Factors such as mothers' education, living in cemented house, and watching television were significantly associated with their children given CF at the age of 6 months. Qualitative data suggested that mothers commonly weaned their infants with animal milk, tea, and biscuits, and they lacked in correct knowledge about CF practices. Conclusion: A significant proportion of mothers in rural areas of Pakistan delay CF. We found that maternal education, residence in cemented houses, and exposure to media play a part in timely introduction of CF to children aged 6–24 months.

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