Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude and Practices on Kenya’s Breast Milk Substitutes Act (2012) Among Nurses in Mbagathi and Pumwani Hospitals, Kenya
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International Code on marketing BMS was developed by the World Health Organization, to protect lactating mothers and healthcare personnel from commercial pressure by BMS manufacturers. Nursing officers are obligated to promote, encourage, protect and acquaint themselves with their obligations in accordance with this Code. The research problem in this study was based on the scarce empirical evidence about the information and knowledge of the recommendations of the International Code on BMS by health workers in Kenya responsible for counseling mothers of new-born babies on breastfeeding. The main objective of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practices of BMS Act among nurses at selected hospitals. The specific objectives were; establish demographic characteristics of nurses in Mbagathi and Pumwani Hospitals, Nairobi County, to assess the knowledge level of Nurses on the Kenya’s Breast Milk Substitute Act; determine the attitude towards Kenya’s Breast Milk Substitute Act and to examine the practices of the Kenya’s Breast Milk Substitute Act among nurses in Mbagathi and Pumwani Hospitals, Nairobi County. This study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive research/study design. Simple random sampling was used to include nurses in the study. Yamane formula was used for the simple random sampling technique method to come out with a sample size of 200 Nurses for study. The study used questionnaire as the primary data collection tool. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were used to analyses data with the help of SPSS. The study found that majority (83.9%) of the respondents was Female. Majority (85%) were young being aged under 40 years. Slightly above half (49.7%) were married. All the respondents were trained with majority (65.6%) having acquired a college certificate. Over half (56.5%) of the respondents had more than 6 years of working experience. Majority [168, 90.3%] had a high knowledge on Kenya’s BMS Act. The vast majority [185, 99.5%] of the respondents had a positive attitude towards BMS. Majority [153, 82.3%] of the respondents had good practices in regards to BMS practices. The level of education and nurses’ knowledge were significant (p=0.000) in the study. The study therefore concluded that nurses had high knowledge, positive attitude and good practices regarding their role in EBF promotion and discouraging use of breast milk substitutes in line with the BMS act. The study recommended that; the government and other private organizations should carry out mass education to create awareness on BMS, in order to adopt the recommended infant and young children nutrition practices as postulated by the World Health Organization (2017). Policies and programs should be implemented to support breastfeeding initiatives for the purpose of upscaling exclusive breastfeeding in Kenya.