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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16386-16402
Bioline Code: nd20080
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16386-16402

Bechiri, L; Kadi, H; Bouldjadj, I; El Hadef Elokki, M; Dahliz, I & Dahel, CC


Optimal nutrition and regular growth assessment are essential components of healthcare for all children in order to detect early problems related to their nutritional status before they are seriously compromised. The objective of our study was to describe the feeding and growth of healthy breastfeeding infants (0-18 months) in North East of Algeria. A prospective and descriptive study of the observational type was conducted, in the service of maternal and child protection at the public health establishment of Skikda (Algeria). The population constituted mothers and their infants (1-3 months) who presented for the first or second immunization visit and were followed up to 18 months. Data were collected by interviewing mothers using an adapted WHO (2004) questionnaire according to visits of the Algerian vaccination calendar (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 18th months). Children were monitored for breastfeeding, complementary feeding and growth. Monitoring growth from birth (1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 18 months) was done by taking anthropometric measurements (weight, height and head circumference), the evaluation of motor development and the calculation of anthropometric growth indices according to WHO standards (2006, 2007): weight/age (W/A), height/age (H/A), weight/height (W/H), body mass index/age (BMI/A) and head circumference/age (HC/A). A total of 159 infants were enrolled, including 83 (52.2%) girls, giving a sex ratio of 0.92. From 1 to 5 months, exclusive and predominant breastfeeding did not differ by sex (p>0.05). Exclusive breastfeeding was observed in 15.7% of infants at the first month versus 7.5% at 5 months. Predominant breastfeeding increased from 84.3% in the first month to 92.5% at 5 months, while complementary feeding started from four months. All mothers continued partial breastfeeding for up to one year. All children had normal motor development. Weight status (4-18 months) did not differ by sex (p>0.05). At the end of the study, 5.8% of the infants showed body wasting, lean (4.8%), stunted (2.7%) while 83.8% were within the normal weight range. To improve the nutritional status of Algerian infants, the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and management of their diet is necessary by provision of a diversified complementary diet, which includes all macro and micronutrients, meets all energy and nutritional needs and teaches them good eating habits and behaviors.

Infants; breastfeeding; weight; height; BMI; monitoring; growth; complementary feeding; Algeria

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