Childcare practices among factory working and housewife mothers and its implications on child nutritional outcomes in Addis Ababa and Oromia regions, Ethiopia

Childcare practices among factory working and housewife mothers and its implications on child nutritional outcomes in Addis Ababa and Oromia regions, Ethiopia

Inadequate care is one of the likely causes of child malnutrition. In view of this fact, today research initiatives in the area of childcare have received increased attention. The context of childcare is mainly composed of the feeding component, the health seeking behaviours of the caretakers and type of child minder. This is a cross-sectional study carried out in Addis Ababa and Oromia region. The main objective of this study is to investigate the current child care patterns and identify the risk factors that influence the nutritional outcomes of infants and young children born to factory working and housewife mothers by comparing child care practices in the two households.

The sampling frame is all factory and housewife mothers who have children aged 0-24 months. Sample size was determined using Fisher et al. formula and 330 from factory working and 330 from housewife mothers were randomly selected to participate in the study. From each group, a sub sample of 40 households was randomly selected for the 24-hour dietary recall. Data was collected using structured questionnaire administered to the mother/care taker.

From the current findings, it is evident that education and income have their own contribution towards a better nutritional outcomes of children and that young girl’s education should be strengthened in the education policy of the country, nutrition education in the importance of timely introduction of complimentary foods, types, frequency and adequacy of the complimentary foods supported with practical training on preparation of complementry foods, hygiene practices and genreal childcare should be given to mothers and community as well. Women should be empowered with income genrating activities; the use of family planning should be encouraged, and facilities at workplace should be available for optimal child feeding (particularly breastfeeding for a minimum of six months and beyond).