Kaggwa, Margaret, Class of 2007 – (Uganda)

Practicum Summary:

Feeding Patterns Among HIV Babies at Upper Mulago Hospital in Uganda

The main objective of Margaret Kaggwa’s practicum study is to investigate the problem of breastfeeding among babies who are HIV positive at Upper Mulago Hospital Postnatal and Young Child Clinic in Uganda. The HIV pandemic is widespread in Uganda, and one of the greatest challenges in the field of health. There is significant evidence that the HIV virus can be transmitted from mother to child though breastfeeding. The objectives of the study were to establish the socio-demographic background of the custodians of the babies, recognize feeding patterns among the HIV positive babies, and to identify factors that influence these feeding patterns. Using face to face interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaires, Kaggwa collected data from mothers, fathers, or other caregivers bringing babies to the postnatal and young child clinic. Inevitably she determined that the majority of babies were aged between 11 and 14 weeks, and below the recommended, or average weight margin. She found that the majority of parents were not subscribing to optimal feeding patterns due to inadequate knowledge of how mixed feeding patterns can affect a newborn, as well as a lack of education on how HIV is spread from mothers to their children.