|Effect of exclusive breastfeeding cessation time on childhood morbidity and adverse nutritional outcomes in Ethiopia: Analysis of the demographic and health surveys|
||Dabere Nigatu, Muluken Azage, and Achenef Motbainor
||PLoS ONE , 14(10): e0223379; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223379
Though exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first six months is recommended, it remains a debatable issue in both developed and developing countries. Thus, this study investigated the effect of EBF cessation time on childhood morbidity and adverse nutritional outcome in Ethiopia.
We used the 2011 and 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys. The study involved 2,433 children under six months of age. Logistic regression model was applied to determine the effect of EBF cessation time on outcome variables. Population Attributable Fraction was calculated to evaluate the public health impacts of EBF termination in the population.
Discontinuing EBF at 0–3 months (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 3.53)) and 4–6 months (AOR: 3.57, 95% CI: 2.19, 5.83) increased diarrhea occurrence compared to children who continued EBF up to 6 months. Children who had terminated EBF at 4–6 months had increased odds of fever (AOR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.11, 2.68) and acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) (AOR: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.61, 4.65). Cessation of EBF earlier than 4 months or between 4–6 months was associated with increased odds of having at least one childhood morbidity. Termination of EBF at 0–3 months and at 4–6 months were associated with increased occurrence of wasting (AOR: 2.32, 95% CI: 1.45, 3.74) and underweight (AOR: 2.30, 95% CI: 1.36, 3.91), respectively. Exclusive breastfeeding can avert 42% of diarrhea, 27% of ARI, 21% of fever, 26% of wasting and 23% of underweight burden among children under six months of age.
Termination of EBF before six months was associated with increased occurrence of diarrhea, fever and ARIs. It was also linked with increased occurrence of childhood wasting and underweight. The finding emphasized EBF for the first six months to reduce childhood morbidity and adverse nutritional outcomes.