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BREAST-FEEDING, DIARRHOEA AND SANITATION AS COMPONENTS OF INFANT AND CHILD HEALTH: A STUDY OF LARGE SCALE SURVEY DATA FROM GHANA AND NIGERIA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2000

CLEMENT AHIADEKE
Affiliation:
Population Dynamics Unit, ISSER, University of Ghana, PO Box 74, Legon, Ghana

Abstract

Using Demographic and Health Survey datasets from Ghana and Nigeria, this study examined whether the protective effects of breast-feeding are greatest where the poorest sanitation conditions prevail. It was found that mixed-fed infants aged between 0 and 11 months tend to have a higher risk of diarrhoea than fully breast-fed children, while the risk of diarrhoea among weaned infants is twice that of mixed-fed infants. The probit regression models employed in the analysis were used to predict the probability of diarrhoea associated with each breast-feeding pattern for both ‘poor’ and ‘good’ sanitation areas. It was found that the risk of diarrhoea among mixed-fed infants in the poor sanitation areas tends to be high while the same risk among fully breast-fed infants tends to be minimal. In essence, the health risks of mixed feeding are real, particularly for infants aged less than 7 months, and are even worse for those weaned before 6 months of age.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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