Although infant and young child feeding practices play an important role in reducing early childhood morbidity and mortality, very large proportions of women do not practice optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding for their children in Ethiopia. Till date, none has addressed the supply and demand side factors that influence infant and young child feeding practices (IYCFP). This work aims to assess supply and demand side factors that influence infant and young child feeding. A community based cross sectional study was employed involving quantitative and qualitative methods among sampled mothers with children under 24 months in Gibe District Southern Ethiopia. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussion, and analyzed through a thematic analysis approach. Quantitative data were entered into Epi-data 3.1 and then exported to SPSS 21. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used. Prevalence of inappropriate infant and young child feeding practice was 67.9%. Being government employee of husband [AOR = 4; 95%CI: 1.65, 10.04], lower income status [AOR = 3.1;95%CI:1.36, 7.07], not attending ANC (AOR = 2.03 (1.22, 3.36)], child age 0 - 5 months [AOR = 2.4;95%CI:1.02, 5.72], negative attitude of mothers towards IYCFP [AOR = 2.35 (1.44, 3.84)] and number of children 3-4 [AOR = 1.99;95%CI:1.08, 3.64] were predictors of inappropriate IYCFP. There is high prevalence of inappropriate infant and young child feeding practice in the study area. Interventional initiatives should focus on improving socio-economic status, and access to information, education and communication for improvement of IYCFP.
Key words: Infant and young child feeding practice, supply side factors, demand side factors, Ethiopia.
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