Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Mothers on the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme at the Vanguard Community Health Centre, Western Cape: A pilot study

K. E. M. Petrie, S. D. Schmidt, C. E. Schwarz, H. E. Koornhof, Debbi Marais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of women regarding the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme at a community health centre (CHC).
Method. A descriptive study was conducted using an administered, structured questionnaire.
Subjects and setting. Thirty-six educated women aged 18 - 39 years and attending the clinic took part. Participants were from informal settlements and mostly unemployed, receiving government grants.
Results. The majority (88.9%) scored 80% or more with regard to general HIV knowledge. Although the majority (78%) were formula feeding, primarily owing to their HIV status and convenience while working, 24% would not be able to sustain this feeding method after the initial 6 months' free supply provided by the provincial health services. The majority could not define the terms exclusive breastfeeding (89%), mixed feeding (81%) or
cup feeding (94%) correctly. Attitudes were found to be positive with regard to both breastfeeding and formula feeding, but HIV status influenced it significantly (p < 0.1).
Conclusion. In conclusion, certain aspects of the PMTCT programme appear to have been effective at the CHC included in this study. The women were knowledgeable about HIV transmission and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), but they were uninformed about certain essential aspects, i.e. prevention, cure and infant feeding.
Attitudes were similar towards breastmilk or formula milk as a feeding choice but were influenced by HIV status. It was indicated that an informed decision-making process was not followed, rather that the women were advised to formula feed. Sustainability of formula feeding after 6 months and training of health workers specifically regarding feeding options need to be addressed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • PMTCT
  • nutritional knowledge

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