Is Exclusive Artificial Feeding Feasible at 6 Months Post Partum in Cameroon Urban Areas for HIV-Exposed Infants?

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility of infant feeding options of HIV positive mothers in urban areas (especially compliance to artificial feeding choices), before the implementation of the infant feeding interventions and procurement of breastmilksubstitutes. We conducted a survey among seropositive women diagnosed during pregnancy and counselled for infant feeding options. At 6 months post delivery an interview was done. 47 mothers were included. Bromocriptine was prescribed to all the mothers who opted for artificial feeding from birth.FindingsAfter counselling 85% of women opted for exclusive artificial feeding of whom 83% mothers practised this option since birth. For those who opted for replacement feeding The main given reason for infant feeding choice was related to medical or nurses advices. Overall 36% [CI 95%, 22–50] of the mothers who opted for artificial milk faced difficulties to afford supplies during the 6 months, leading into an early introduction of paps. Clinical mastitis were mentioned by all those mothers who breastfed. Infant feeding choices were related to the level of education (X2=24.10, P=0.002).ConclusionArtificial feeding under recovery of cost seems feasible in urban areas in Cameroon and can be facilitate by the administration of antilacteal drugs. More adequate support must be provided for the mother who breastfeed in order to prevent and to treat mastitis. Additional training for counselling in HIV and infant feeding options is recommended for health workers.

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