This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and attitude of female bankers toward the practice of exclusive breast feeding in IkpobaOkha local government area in Benin City, Edo state. The background of the study gave a general and comprehensive introduction of the study, statement of the problem were identified. The significance of the study was outlined and operational definition of terms was included for proper understanding, scope of study was also drawn out current related literature were reviewed and theoretical framework that, is relevant lo the study that is discussed. Questionnaires with open and closed ended questions were administered to 115 respondents and all were retrieved and a total of 100 that were properly filled were analysed. Date was analyzed using frequency table, percentages pie chart and bar charts. The discussion of result and interpretation of findings were made. The results from the findings in figure IV shows that 95 (95%) of the respondents have good knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding while in figure IX only 15(15%) practices exclusive Breastfeeding. From the above, it was observed that the respondents have good knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding had no influence on their poor attitude towards the practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding. Other factors such as early resumption to duty and late closing hour as seen in figure VII, XIX 98 (98%) and also lack of support from colleagues in figure XIX 96 (96%) are other hindrances to the effective practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding.
The findings result revealed that female bankers have good knowledge about Exclusive Breastfeeding while their attitude towards the practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding is very poor. Recommendations and suggestion for further study were made.
KEYWORDS: KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE, FEMALE BANKERS, PRACTICE OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING, IKPOBA OKHA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, BENIN CITY.
Breastfeeding is considered the most complete nutritional source for infants, because, breast milk contains the essential fats, carbohydrates, proteins and immunological factors needed for infants to thrive and resist infection in the formative year.
Cardwell and Barry, 2004, jones et al, 2003 in their analysis of child survival strategies, identified exclusive breastfeeding from b to u months as the single most effective preventive intervention in reducing child mortality with the potential of saving 1.3 million infants uses annually.
Similary, leoan-cava et al (2003), have observed that improved breast feeding practices are crucial for child growth and development. However, advocate of breast feeding have noticed that there have been steady decline due to the behaviour of female bankers. This is particularly more pronounced in developing countries, like Nigeria.
Wagner et al, (2005) have also observed that despite all the recommendations by experts as regard infants breast feeding for the first size months of life, a significant percentage of mothers choose not to breastfeed. Work and family conflict are the major concern to many, if not all, the most female bankers over the world. Most of the banking institution continue to spend resources in an attempt to help their staffs manage family duties and responsibilities at work place; however, work and family boundary (exclusive breastfeeding) have been the most challenging factor associated with female bankers in ikpoba hill, Benin city (cooner 2002)
Some may be due to work factor like female bankers who spend more time in the office.
Results of studies conducted in developing countries has shown that, nutritional deficiency and growth retardation is a common occurrence amongst children between the age of 3 and 15 months old, owing to sub optional breastfeeding and poor complementary feeding practices (shrimptonetal 2001)
Parts of the efforts to promote inproved breastfeeding practices focused on hospital norms and services, legislations and institutional polices, health workers training, mass media campains, peer counselling and educating, mother to mother support and a combination of these strategies (Green,1999, till et al, 2004) (Quinn et, al, 2005). Specifically, the United States agency for international development (USAID) in 1996, issues a grant to the academy for international development to design and implement a 10-years program, known as the LINKAGES project, to improve breastfeeding practices rapidly and at scare. Unluckily this has not yielded and encouraging result. This is because in African countries, the national rate for early initiation of breastfeeding were low, with Ghana having the lowest rate (35%) following by Madagascar (34%)Quin et al, 2005) as it has been ensured that safety, optimum growth, health survival of the human infants; that duration of the breast feeding may also determine the strength of mother/child born and attachment, yet exclusive breast feeding is not being in full practices among female bankers because of the long time they spend in the office, and non-provision of curech by their management because of the risky environment where they work.
Breastfeeding decline significantly from 1900 to 1960 due to increasing negative attitude towards the practice and the development of infant formulas under modern health centres, human breast milks considered the healthiest form for milk for babies because of its numerous advantages over artificial formulas (National health services 2007).
Although breast feeding is natural, the current instant feeding practice are far from optimum because of lack of updated knowledge and training among medical and Para medical personnel, misconception in the community, misformation by infant food manufacturers and return to work, illness, breast engorgement and mastitis havelead to exposure of infants to infections like gastoententis and diorrhea which have resulted over a million death annually worldwide (Ghai, 2008).
Due to the above reason, baby friendly hospital initiative (BFHI) was launched in 199 as part of the “innocent declaration of 1991 our promotion, protection and support of breast feeding by WHO and UNICFE. Baby friendly hospital are conform to its ten steps for successful implementation of breastfeeding in the context of HIV, emergencies as well as expansion towards other type of health facilities and the community to discourage the use of breast milk substitute that and water within the first six months of infant life (WHO,2012). This has shown that excusive breast feeding is beneficial to babies, mothers, and even the community at large. However, it is a very challenging task to engage in especially for bankers
This project intends to find out the roles and practices of exclusive breast feeding among female bankers in IkpobaOkhaL.G.A in Benin City Edo state who practices exclusive breast feeding.
At the end of this study recommendation will be made for the management of banks to provide a conducive environment for the nursing mothers to keep their babies and also reduce the working hours for them to be able to exclusively breastfeed.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Despite the effort and strategies that have been put in a place by WHO and UNICEF to increase awareness of exclusive breastfeeding through baby friendly hospitals initiatives in order to reduce complication associated with artificial feeding like respiratory and gastro intestinal infections. It has been observed by the researchers are still reluctant to practice exclusive breastfeeding due to work factor and environment.
Hence, the question “what is the knowledge and attitude of female bankers towards the attitude of exclusive breast feeding in IkpobaOkha L.G.A Benin city
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