Breastfeeding training improves health worker performance in rural Nigeria

A A Davies-Adetugbo, A K Fabiyi, E O Ojoofeitimi, K Adetugbo
East African Medical Journal 1997, 74 (8): 510-3
The training of health workers in breastfeeding and lactation management is to enable them make correct breastfeeding recommendations to mothers. This study aims to provide answers to two research questions: what components of breastfeeding training are easily achieved with extension health workers, and what health worker variables affect these outcomes. Multivariable analysis of the outcomes of a controlled breastfeeding training programme for community health workers (CHW) in rural communities of Osun State, Nigeria, was performed by logistic regression. The results show that the training was the most powerful predictor of correct CHW recommendations on breastfeeding (OR = 60.25, p-0.0000), and of 'perfect' breastfeeding knowledge (OR = 192.49, p = 0.0000). Younger CHWs (in the age bracket 20 to 29 years) were significantly more likely to make correct recommendations on exclusive breastfeeding (OR = 3.02, p = 0.0304). Other CHW variables such as sex, experience, job status, and marital status did not make consistently significant independent contributions to the outcomes. The results suggest that breastfeeding education can enhance CHW professional recommendations on breastfeeding and should be extended to all categories of health workers.

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