American Journal of Food and Nutrition
ISSN (Print): 2374-1155 ISSN (Online): 2374-1163 Website: Editor-in-chief: Mihalis Panagiotidis
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American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2016, 4(4), 83-92
DOI: 10.12691/ajfn-4-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Maternal Socio-demographic Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice in Cameroon

Frankie E.E Fombong1, Beheshteh Olang1, Diddy Antai2, 3, Chidiebere D.I Osuorah4, , Eric Poortvliet1 and Agneta Yngve1

1Department for Biosciences and Nutrition, Unit for Public Health Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

2Department of Public Health, Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

3Division of Global Health and Inequalities, The Angels Trust, Abuja, Nigeria

4Department of Pediatrics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra, Nigeria

Pub. Date: June 07, 2016

Cite this paper:
Frankie E.E Fombong, Beheshteh Olang, Diddy Antai, Chidiebere D.I Osuorah, Eric Poortvliet and Agneta Yngve. Maternal Socio-demographic Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice in Cameroon. American Journal of Food and Nutrition. 2016; 4(4):83-92. doi: 10.12691/ajfn-4-4-1


Background: Sub-optimal breastfeeding practices in-particular exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) still prevail in many developing countries including Cameroon, despite the documented evidence on the vital role of breastfeeding on the health and development of infants. Aim: To identify maternal socio-demographic factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding practice amongst Cameroonian mothers of reproductive age. Methods: Data from a nationally representative sample of mothers (aged 15-49 years) with infants aged between 0-6 months was obtained from the 2004 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey. Multiple binary logistic regression was used to identify and examine the maternal factors most likely to predict exclusive breastfeeding practice while controlling for potential confounders. Results: Only 18.1% of the mothers practiced EBF. EBF was highest (35.2%) in the 0-1 month old infants and lowest (2.4%) in 6 months old infants (p<0.001). The North region and the Northwest region had the lowest proportion (0%) and highest proportion (52.9%) of EBF practice, respectively (p<0.001). Ethnicity and religion were retained as important maternal predictors of EBF practice in the multivariate analysis (p<0.001). Decreased likelihood of EBF practice was found among mothers who were Kirdis (OR=0.23, 95%CI: 0.11-0.48), Pahouin-Betis (OR=0.56, 95%CI: 0.33-0.94) and Atheist (OR=0.30, 95%CI: 0.11-0.80). Conclusion: Cultural disparities and religion are the major maternal factors that influence EBF practice in Cameroon. However, further research to understand the influence of these cultural practices and beliefs, and religion on EBF practice is recommended in order to guide policy makers and public health organizations in planning appropriate and adequate interventions to improve EBF practice. Keywords: Breastfeeding, under-five mortality, Cameroon.

breastfeeding under-five mortality cameroun

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