The aim of this study is to assess nutrition in infancy, a case study of kawo general hospital, Kaduna. The specific objective of the study were to determine the level awareness of the infant nutrition process, determine the level of awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, find out the challenges of faced in infant nutrition and proffer ways of improving proper infant nutrition. The population of the study is 100. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and the area of study is Kawo General Hospital, Kaduna. Simple frequency and percentages were employed to analyse the data. The summary of the findings for this study revealed that the level of awareness of proper important nutrition and breastfeeding is still low, there are many challenges faced in infant nutrition. Maternal protection, guidance and counseling among others are ways of improving infant nutrition. Based on the findings recommendations were made.
Children between the ages of birth and one year are considered infants. Infants grow very rapidly and have special nutritional requirements that are different from other age groups. Infant nutrition is designed to meet the special needs of every young children and give them a healthy start in life. Children under one year old do not have fully mature organ systems. They need nutrition that is easy to digest and contains enough calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to grow and develop normally. Infants also need the proper amount of fluids for their immature kidney’s to process. In addition, infant nutrition involves avoiding exposing infants to substances that are harmful to their growth and development.
Infancy is a time of incredibly rapid growth and development. Getting the right kinds of nutrients in the right quantities and avoiding the wrong kinds of substances gives infants the best chance at a healthy start to life. Parents are responsible for seeing that their infant’s nutritional needs are met.
Good nutrition is essential to the rapid growth and development that occurs during a baby’s first year. Providing babies with the right foods will promote good health and give them the opportunity to enjoy new tastes and textures as they establish good eating habits. Also, feeding can help babies establish warm relationships with their parents and caregivers. Positive and supportive feeding techniques are essential in allowing babies to eat well and to develop healthy attitudes toward themselves and others.
During the first year, babies’ mouths develop from being able only to suck and swallow to being able to chew. Their digestive tracts mature from being able to take in only liquids, such as breastmilk or formula, to being able to receive a wide variety of foods. And at the same time, they progress from needing to be fed toward feeding themselves. As babies continually mature, their food and feeding patterns must continue to change
Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision that has lifelong effects for your baby and for you. What you have seen and learned about infant feeding from your family, friends and teachers is likely to influence your attitude and perceptions.
Whether you definitely plan to breastfeed or you are still uncertain, consider the fact that your milk is the best milk for your baby, and it is the ideal first food for your baby’s first several months.
Nature designed human milk especially for human babies, and it has several advantages over any substitute ever developed. Breast milk contains just the right balance of nutrients, and it contains them in a form most easily used by the human baby’s immature body systems. Because it was developed for the human baby, breast milk is also the most gentle on your baby’s systems.
Exclusively breast-fed infants should be supplemented with vitamin D within the first few days of life. Consult your infant’s physician regarding supplementation.
If you decide not to breastfeed, or are unable to breastfeed, commercial iron-fortified formulas can provide adequate nutrition for your infant. Infant formulas contain adequate amounts of protein, calories, fat, vitamins and minerals for growth. However, formula does not contain the immune factors that are in breast milk. The immune factors that are found in breast milk can help prevent infections.
Africa is surprisingly the fastest growing continent on the planet despite its tribulations of poverty, civil wars, drought, famine and the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS. This is largely due to the high fertility rates in the Sub Saharan region where population is expected to double by mid century as estimated by the United Nations World Population Prospects. Despite the large numbers of children born in Africa, their survival rate is crippled by the inadequate neonatal services, risk of infection from communicable diseases and compounding impact of malnutrition. While infant mortality has decreased significantly across the world current data shows that it remains highest in Sub Saharan Africa which accounts for almost half of all infant mortalities with a rate of 98/1000 live births. Various interventions have been introduced in an attempt to meet the millennium development goal of decreasing infant mortality by two thirds by the year 2015. A key invention point is to decrease malnutrition which associated with 45% of deaths in this age group as reported by the United Nations Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation in the 2013 report(2).
A number of factors have been identified as barriers to appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding which recommends initiation of breast feeding within one hour of delivery, exclusive breast feeding for the first 6 months of life followed by the introduction of appropriate complementary foods and continuation of breast feeding until 2 years of age and beyond. This ambitious but difficult to implement strategy was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2002.
The immediate cause of malnutrition is inadequate intake and absorption of nutrients. This is influenced by a range of underlying factors, such as access to the right foods, education levels and sanitation. Many of these causes are relatively well understood with evidence based solutions which address them, including targeted food fortification programs for example. But these causes cannot account for all types of malnutrition. Child feeding behavior is frequently being addressed in many debates about malnutrition in international development both as a cause and a potential solution to the problem. Breastfeeding promotion was ranked as one of the most cost effective interventions by the Copenhagen Consensus in both 2008 and 2012. Yet changing child feeding behaviour is one of the most difficult interventions to implement. This is due to the fact that food, diets and behaviour are deeply cultural; how we eat, what we eat and when we eat are all determined by practices, ideas and behavior’s instilled since birth. Infant feeding practices are not just based on rational decisions but rooted in existing cultural norms, emotional connections with food and nutrition, and subconscious motives
Reduction in malnutrition rates is imperative if the battle to achieve MDG 4 is to be won. Many factors are responsible for the high level of malnutrition in Sub Saharan Africa. Understanding the factors behind poor infant and child feeding practices will assist in addressing these issues and ensure that the battle for child survival in the fastest growing population globally will not be lost.
Whereas well intended nutrition policies and guidelines exist there to be a much higher level of political pressure, social and community mobilization to realize increased uptake and acceptance and uptake in Sub-Saharan countries.
1.1 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of the study is to assess Nutrition in Infancy, a case study of Kawo General Hospital, Kaduna. The specific objectives are:
1. To determine the level awareness of the infant nutrition process
2. To determine the level of awareness of the importance of breastfeeding
3. To find out the challenges of faced in infant nutrition
4. To proffer ways of improving proper infant nutrition