DIETARY PRACTICES, NUTRITION AND HEALTH STATUS OF INFANTS BORN TO ADOLESCENT MOTHERS IN TRANSMARA WEST, NAROK COUNTY, KENYA
Kotut, Brigid Chebet
MetadataShow full item record
Globally, adolescent motherhood remains a challenge because they are unprepared for childcare hence putting their infants at risk of malnutrition. In order to prevent the occurrence of common illnesses, infants should be fed according to WHO recommendations. Research on dietary practices and the health of infants belonging to young mothers is scarce in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to determine dietary practices, health and nutrition status of infants born to adolescent mothers in Transmara West, Narok County. Five health facilities were purposively selected in Transmara West Sub County, Narok County by use of analytical cross-sectional study design. A sample size of 246 infants and 246 adolescent mothers were recruited from the health facilities. Quantitative data was analysed using SPPS for windows version 24.0 and ENA for SMART survey 2011. The relationship between nutritional status and other variables was established by use of chi-square test at a significance level of less than 0.05. Most of the mothers were between 16 to 17 years with the youngest mother being 14 years old. Breastfeeding practices was as follows; early initiation within one hour was (62.2%, exclusive breastfeeding was (50.0%) and continued breastfeeding at 12 months was (5.5%).The infants who had been introduced to solid and semi-solid foods were 88.6%. A few of the breastfed infants achieved the minimum meal frequency: 6-8 months (2.6%) and 9-12 months (0.4%) unlike the non-breastfed infants (90.9%). The most commonly consumed food groups being vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables, dairy products and grains. Slightly less than half (40.3%) of the infants received their recommended minimum meal frequency while 47.6% of those aged 6-12 months achieved the minimum dietary diversity while most achieved the minimum acceptable diet (61.9%). Malnutrition levels were 17.1 per cent 22.0% and 22.0 per cent for wasting, stunting and underweight respectively. Meal frequency, exclusive breastfeeding and infant illness two weeks before the study were significant (p<0.05) factors associated with malnutrition. Educational level of the mother did not influence the nutritional status of their infants. The study alluded to the existence of malnutrition among infants of adolescent mothers and hence the study recommends that policies should be in place that governs the care and health of young mothers and their infants. Similar research should be replicated especially to compare the nutrition status of infants of adult mothers with that of young mothers in the same study area.