Sky Journal of Medicines and Medical Sciences Vol. 5(4), pp. 034-038, October, 2017, Available online,

ISSN 2315-8808 ©2017 Sky Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Relationship between feeding practices and nutritional status of children under the age of two years in Mugunga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Justin Mafuko*, Joyce Meme, Bonface Oirere and Job Mapesa


Department of Public Health, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kenya Methodist University, Kenya.

*Corresponding author. E-mail:


Accepted  11 September, 2017




Malnutrition is the most common childhood nutritional disorder characterized by stunting and wasting children below two years old due to inappropriate feeding practices. Infant and young child feeding practices can improve child survival and promote healthy growth and development. This study aims to assess the relationship between feeding practices and nutrition status of children under two years old in Mugunga, Democratic Republic of Congo. This was a descriptive case study involving a total of 206 women/care givers and their under two years old children who attended MCH clinic at Mugunga Health Centre between June and July 2017 in Mugunga, one of slums surrounding Goma Town, in the East of the DR Congo. Breastfeeding initiation immediately after birth was only 7.3% and just 7.8% of children were exclusively breastfed for the first six months. The main reason for putting an end to child breastfeeding exclusively before six months was that the women observed that the babies remained hungry after breastfeeding session. And the main reason for stopping breastfeeding before two years was as a result of another pregnancy. Fewer children meet the minimum dietary diversity of 5.3% and the minimum acceptable diet of 7.3%. There was a high level of malnourished children compared to the acceptable level. Data analysis shows that the main reason for not meeting the minimum dietary diversity and the minimum acceptable diet were as a result of poverty and lack of knowledge concerning good complementary feeding practices. Our findings show that there is a relationship between feeding practices and nutritional status for children. Thus, there is need for intervention in order to improve feeding practices in Mugunga.

Key words: Feeding practices, breastfeeding, complementary feeding, nutritional status, Mugunga.


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