Barriers to Infant and Child-feeding Practices: A Qualitative Study of Primary Caregivers in Rural Uganda

Barriers to Infant and Child-feeding Practices: A Qualitative Study of Primary Caregivers in Rural Uganda

The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers to the use of appropriate infant and young childfeeding practices by primary caregivers living in a rural Ugandan district.

A community-based qualitative design and focus group discussions were used for collecting data from primary caregivers of children aged0 to 24 month(s). On an average, each of the four focus group discussions had 11 participants. The focus group discussions were conducted using a structured interview guide and were tape-recorded. The recorded data were later transcribed and analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis techniques. All the participants were females, and the majority had low levels of education and at least one child in the age-group of 0-24month(s) in their household.

The findings show that the main barriers to the use of appropriate infant andyoung child-feeding practices fall under four themes:

  • caregiver’s knowledge about breastfeeding,
  • caregiver’sknowledge about complimentary feeding,
  • influence of culture custodians on the caregivers,
  • patterns and burden of other responsibilities the caregivers have in the household.

The four categories of barrier simply that there are various missed opportunities to implement hospital and community-based interventionsto improve infant and young child-feeding practices, which is one way of preventing malnutrition.

Therefore, in rural areas of Uganda, the major factors responsible for the high prevalence of malnutrition among infants and children are still those related to knowledge, culture, and social status of the primary caregivers.