Health System Factors As Correlates of Infant Feeding Options among HIV Positive Mothers in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria (Published)
Most rural communities are faced with numerous health challenges including contagious and terminal diseases. Their extent of survival from most of these ailments is tied to the quality of health facilities, equipments and the service providers available within the rural setting and the extent of affordability of these services. The problem is most aggravated when the issue involve is a communicable disease with terminal possibilities like HIV and the quality and accessibility of health facilities available to these rural dwellers. Most HIV+ mothers are faced with the risk of transmitting the virus to their new infant especially during infant birth and breastfeeding. The incidence of mother to child transmission of HIV can be reduced if there are functional health systems that can give the basic information and also provide the necessary services to reduce the incidence of mother to child transmission of HIV. Most HIV+ mothers are faced with the challenges of feeding their infant children; hence the health system factor was examined to ascertain the extent to which this influence the choices of infant feeding options among HIV+ mothers. The study adopted the descriptive research design, 136 HIV+ mothers were purposefully sampled for the study. The instruments for data collection were structured questionnaire and semi structured interview. Chi square was used for data analysis and the result of the analysis revealed that availability of qualified personnel providing basic services, (14.194, P≤.05), adequacy of ARVs for pregnant HIV+ mothers, (12.709, P≤.05), the availability of medical equipments for attending to HIV+ mothers, (14.367, P≤.05), giving of basic education on various feeding options to HIV+ mothers, (13.576, P≤.05) statistically significant. The study concluded that health system influences the choices of infant feeding options among HIV+ mothers. It was therefore recommended that government, organizations or individuals who can afford to provide health facilities should also endeavor to put the necessary facilities, equipment and qualified personnel in such facilities to give adequate services and education to those who may wish to access their services.