Differences between International Recommendations on Breastfeeding in the Presence of HIV and the Attitudes and Counselling Messages of Health Workers in Lilongwe, Malawi [Open Access]

Piwoz, Ellen G.; Ferguson, Yvonne Owens; Bentley, Margaret E.; Corneli, Amy L.; Moses, Agnes; Nkhoma, Jacqueline R.; Tohill, Beth Carlton; Mtimuni, Beatrice; Ahmed, Yusuf; Jamieson, Denise J.; van der Horst, Charles M.; Kazembe, Peter; & the UNC Project BAN Study Team. (2006). Differences between International Recommendations on Breastfeeding in the Presence of HIV and the Attitudes and Counselling Messages of Health Workers in Lilongwe, Malawi [Open Access]. International Breastfeeding Journal, 1(1), 2. PMCID: PMC1436018

Piwoz, Ellen G.; Ferguson, Yvonne Owens; Bentley, Margaret E.; Corneli, Amy L.; Moses, Agnes; Nkhoma, Jacqueline R.; Tohill, Beth Carlton; Mtimuni, Beatrice; Ahmed, Yusuf; Jamieson, Denise J.; van der Horst, Charles M.; Kazembe, Peter; & the UNC Project BAN Study Team. (2006). Differences between International Recommendations on Breastfeeding in the Presence of HIV and the Attitudes and Counselling Messages of Health Workers in Lilongwe, Malawi [Open Access]. International Breastfeeding Journal, 1(1), 2. PMCID: PMC1436018

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Background: To prevent postnatal transmission of HIV in settings where safe alternatives to breastfeeding are unavailable, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding followed by early, rapid cessation of breastfeeding. Only limited data are available on the attitudes of health workers toward this recommendation and the impact of these attitudes on infant feeding counselling messages given to mothers.

Methods: As part of the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition (BAN) clinical trial, we carried out an in-depth qualitative study of the attitudes, beliefs, and counselling messages of 19 health workers in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Results: Although none of the workers had received formal training, several reported having counseled HIV-positive mothers about infant feeding. Health workers with counselling experience believed that HIV-infected mothers should breastfeed exclusively, rather than infant formula feed, citing poverty as the primary reason. Because of high levels of malnutrition, all the workers had concerns about early cessation of breastfeeding.

Conclusion: Important differences were observed between the WHO recommendations and the attitudes and practices of the health workers. Understanding these differences is important for designing effective interventions.


Sexual Behavior, Contraceptive Use, and Reproductive Health
Biological and Social Interactions


JOUR



Piwoz, Ellen G.
Ferguson, Yvonne Owens
Bentley, Margaret E.
Corneli, Amy L.
Moses, Agnes
Nkhoma, Jacqueline R.
Tohill, Beth Carlton
Mtimuni, Beatrice
Ahmed, Yusuf
Jamieson, Denise J.
van der Horst, Charles M.
Kazembe, Peter
the UNC Project BAN Study Team



2006


International Breastfeeding Journal

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PMC1436018


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