Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 557810
Title Challenges and responses to infant and young child feeding in rural Rwanda: A qualitative study
Author(s) Ahishakiye, Jeanine; Bouwman, Laura; Brouwer, Inge D.; Matsiko, Eric; Armar-Klemesu, Margaret; Koelen, Maria
Source Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 38 (2019)1. - ISSN 1606-0997
Department(s) Health and Society
Global Nutrition
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Breastfeeding - Complementary feeding - Infant and young child feeding - Qualitative - Rwanda

Background: Despite different interventions to improve child nutrition conditions, chronic malnutrition is still a public health concern in Rwanda, with a high stunting prevalence of 38% among under 5-year-olds children. In Rwanda, only 18% of children aged 6-23 months are fed in accordance with the recommendations for infant and young child feeding practices. The aim of this study was to explore challenges to infant and young child feeding practices and the responses applied to overcome these challenges in Muhanga District, Southern province of Rwanda. Methods: Sixteen (16) focus group discussions were held with mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and community health workers from 4 rural sectors of Muhanga District. The discussions were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed using qualitative data analysis software, Atlas.ti. Results: Two main themes emerged from the data. Firstly, there was a discourse on optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices that reflects the knowledge and efforts to align with early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, as well as initiation of complementary foods at 6 months recommendations. Secondly, challenging situations against optimal practices and coping responses applied were presented in a discourse on struggling with everyday reality. The challenging situations that emerged as impeding appropriate IYCF practices included perceived lack of breast milk, infant cues, women's heavy workload, partner relations and living in poverty. Family and social support from community health workers and health facility staff, financial support through casual labor, and mothers saving and lending groups, as well as kitchen gardens, were used to cope with challenges. Conclusion: Factors influencing IYCF practices are multifaceted. Hence, intervention strategies to improve child nutrition should acknowledge the socially embedded nature of IYCF and address economic and social environmental constraints and opportunities, in addition and above knowledge only.

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