European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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May 2002, Volume 56, Number 5, Pages 438-441
Table of contents    Previous  Abstract  Next   Full text  PDF
Original Communication
Knowledge, attitude and practice of health workers in Keffi local government hospitals regarding Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) practices
S N Okolo1 and C Ogbonna2

1Department of Paediatrics, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

2Department of Community Health, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence to: S N Okolo, PO BOX 10349, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. E-mail:

Guarantor: SN Okolo.

Contributors: SN Okolo, C Ogbonna.


Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of health workers towards Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) practices and thereafter plan an advocacy on BFHI training of the workers.

Design: A randomised cross-sectional study.

Seting: Ten out of 16 health facilities reflecting all the levels of healthcare provision in Keffi Local Government Area in Nassarawa State, Nigeria, were selected. Staff of these health facilities had not received BFHI training, although breastfeeding is the norm in this population, exclusive breastfeeding is almost zero.

Subjects: A total of 250 health workers (six doctors, 160 nurses and 84 auxiliary staff) met in the health facilities at the time of interview.

Intervention: A structured questionnaire based on 10 steps to successful breastfeeding was administered by one of the authors and a Lactad nurse between July and October 1995.

Results: Fifty-two (20.8%) were aware of the need for initiating breastfeeding within 30 min of birth and 92 (36.8%) were aware of breastfeeding support groups. However, there were significant differences in the level of awareness among the doctors compared to the other categories of health staff (P<0.05). Also, 48 (19.2%) of the health workers believed that babies less than 6 months of age should not be given water (statistical difference (P<0.05) between doctors' attitude and that of the other health workers). Thirteen (5.22%) health workers could demonstrate correct positioning and attachment.

Conclusion: There was general lack of awareness of some major recommended practices in the hospitals that will promote and sustain breastfeeding. There is therefore the need for policy changes and BFHI training for the staff of these health facilities to respond to the concern and growing need for proper infant/young child feeding.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2002) 56, 326-337. DOI:10.1038/sj/ejcn/1601331


healthworkers; BFHI practices; knowledge

Received 25 April 2001; revised 3 September 2001; accepted 9 September 2001
May 2002, Volume 56, Number 5, Pages 438-441
Table of contents    Previous  Abstract  Next   Full text  PDF