Infant and Young Child Feeding Policy: do primary health care nurses adhere to the HIV breastfeeding recommendations in Limpopo province?
Background: The HIV and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) guidelines in the revised IYCF policy of 2013 encouraged HIV-positive mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months. In the case of HIV, the 2013 recommendation was that breastfeeding should continue for a year with the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding at six months while children receive antiretroviral treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and practices of primary health care (PHC) nurses related to the implementation of the revised IYCF policy, with a specific focus on HIV breastfeeding recommendations, in Blouberg Municipality, Limpopo province.
Methods: A quantitative, descriptive study design was conducted and included 103 conveniently selected PHC nurses. Data were collected using a questionnaire with closed ended questions. Data were analysed using SPSS® software v23.0, and using both descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
Results: Some 97.1% (n = 100) of the participants displayed good knowledge of IYCF recommendations in the context of HIV. In all, 68% (n = 70) of participants were not trained on the HIV and IYCF guidelines in the revised IYCF policy of 2013, resulting in only 32% (n = 33) of participants correctly implementing these guidelines. Also, 44.7% (n = 46) of the participants reported that they were not aware whether clinics had a copy of this policy. The results further revealed that 92.2% (n = 95) of the participants reported that clinics still received, kept and issued infant formula to HIV-positive mothers, which may be the reason why dietitians still received requests for infant formulas to be delivered to HIV-positive mothers.
Conclusion: PHC nurses need to be trained, monitored and evaluated when updated HIV and IYCF guidelines are issued in order to ensure their correct implementation.
The full article is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/16070658.2018.1457863
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