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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(4): 1029-1033

Awareness about safe infant formula preparation, transportation, and storage in Medina, Saudi Arabia: a cross sectional survey

Mohamed H. Khadrawy, Mohammad Taleb, Mohammed Talal Alyami, Mona H. Sairafi, Mona Abdulaziz, Shrouq Almadani, Zeinab H. Mohamed.


Background: Powdered infant formula (PIF) is a more modern, scientific, and safe approach to infant nutrition if breastfeeding is not possible. Thereby, this study aimed to assess the practices of safe PIF use in a sample of caregivers against the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and to find whether or not an association with the infant and parental variables exists. It was also aimed to report the timing of initiation of supplementary bottle-feeding among mothers and to find the prevalence of ear infections among formula-fed infants.
Methodology: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Medina, Saudi Arabia, among 89 infants between 1 week and 36 months of age with either mixed or exclusive PIF feeding. Data were collected through a questionnaire based on the WHO guidelines.
Results: The mean age of infants was 1 year and 1 month. Formula feeding began in the first 4 weeks of life in most of the cases (47.2%). All the participants were mothers; 40.4% had first experience of child feeding, while 58.4% were experienced with PIF preparation. Regarding the educational level of mothers, 73% had a college degree. The four steps set by the WHO for safe PIF preparation were fulfilled by only 27% of the caregivers. No association was found between infant and parental demographic variables and correct PIF preparation.
Conclusion: The number of caregivers who followed the guidelines was considered low. Therefore, health authorities, health professionals, and manufacturers should elaborate further educational arrangements, such as labeling the instructions or constructing campaigns regarding safe PIF handling and use.

Key words: Powdered infant formula, caregiver, hand hygiene, WHO guidelines

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