Online Program

Implications of ready-to-use therapeutic foods for breastfeeding practices in Haiti: A qualitative study on lactating women at the canaan clinic in montrouis and rousseau, Haiti

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chizoba Chukwura, MPH, CPH, Public Health Assessment Division, U.S. Army Public Health Center, Oak Ridge Science and Education, APG-Edgewood, MD
Martha Okafor, PhD, MPA, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute Division of Behavioral Health, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Amy Webb Girard, PhD, MPH, Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Cheryl 'Abeo' Jones, PhD, MPH, MBA, Master of Public Health Program, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Globally, maternal and child malnutrition is a major contributor to the high prevalence of mortality and morbidity. In 2010, Haiti's under-five mortality rate was 165 per 1,000 live births. With appropriate breastfeeding practices below optimal international standards, Haiti's under-five population suffers from a high prevalence of malnutrition. In efforts to curb the rate of infant and child mortality, the Haitian ready-to-use therapeutic food, Medika Mamba was introduced to treat severe acute malnutrition. This study was conducted to investigate how knowledge, attitudes and cultural beliefs affect Medika Mamba's impact on breastfeeding practices in Haiti. Interviews with key informants and lactating mothers identified the themes and concepts of mothers of severely acute malnourished children in Montrouis and Rousseau, Haiti. The Haitian mother's belief system in regards to her child's malnourished status was rooted in her responsibility for caring for her child. Caring, in the sense of feeding and clothing her child resulted in some mothers believing their child is not malnourished. The mothers' perception of their child's nutrition status tends to be the decided upon how they value and view the purpose of Medika Mamba for their child. Mothers who acknowledge their child's eating behavior (not eating table food), child's malnourished status, and Medika Mamba as a food substitute describes an alteration in breastfeeding practice. Haitian mothers' view and value of Medika Mamba influenced breastfeeding and weaning practices. Education on malnutrition, complementary feeding, and the use of Medika Mamba should be offered to mothers of severe acute malnourished children in Haiti.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the attitudes and cultural beliefs of lactating Haitian women toward the usage of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods. Evaluate how the attitudes and cultural beliefs of lactating Haitian women toward the usage of RUTF may influence their breastfeeding practices.

Keyword(s): International MCH, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a MPH student extensively trained and experienced in qualitative research with a concentration on health disparities affecting global maternal and child nutrition related issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.