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Maternal Time Use Drives Suboptimal Complementary Feeding Practices in the El Niño-Affected Eastern Ethiopia Community

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posted on 2022-04-01, 00:00 authored by Asnake Ararsa IrensoAsnake Ararsa Irenso, S Letta, A S Chemeda, A Asfaw, G Egata, N Assefa, Karen CampbellKaren Campbell, Rachel LawsRachel Laws
Ethiopia is affected by recurrent drought and food-insecurity crises, including El Niño. El Niño started in mid-2014, worsened in 2015, and continued in 2016, leading to a widespread food-insecurity emergency resulting in a surge in the rate of acute malnutrition in infants due to suboptimal feeding practices. This study explored how El Niño influenced complementary feeding practices in the eastern Ethiopia community from March to September 2016. It was an exploratory qualitative study with a basic interpretative qualitative approach. A general inductive approach was used for the analysis. The study involved 11 focus group discussions (FGD) with a total of 76 people, including three with mothers, three with Health Development Army (HDA) leaders, two with fathers, two with traditional birth attendants, and one with religious leaders. El Niño resulted in failed crops and loss of livestock, resulting in reduced dietary diversity and meal frequency. El Niño resulted in suboptimal complementary feeding practices by reducing food access and altering livelihood and coping strategies, reducing the time mothers allocated to child feeding, keeping them away from home, and stressing community health services. The maternal suboptimal time allocation is central to the poor complementary feeding practices. Thus, the women should be supported with climate-resilient livelihood options in their villages, allowing them to feed their children and attend education sessions with HDA leaders.

History

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

19

Issue

7

Pagination

3937 - 3937

Publisher

MDPI AG

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

en

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal