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Abstract

Although recommended infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices have been found to be protective against undernutrition in some settings, there is no finality yet due to inconsistencies in the literature. A cross-sectional survey of 581 mother-child pairs was conducted in northern Ghana in June 2018. The association between IYCF indicators and child undernutrition (stunting and wasting) were assessed. The descriptive analysis showed that 66.4% of the children (6–23 months) were introduced to complementary feeding in a timely manner, 69.4% met the minimum meal frequency, and 38.9% met the minimum acceptable diet daily. The prevalence of stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight was 33.2%, 14.1%, 27% and 2.6%, respectively. From the multivariable binary logistic regression, child gender, child age group and source of power for lighting the household were significantly associated with wasting. Intake of iron-rich foods, child age group, and maternal height were significantly associated with stunting after adjusting for confounders. The prevalence of the compliance with IYCF indicators was relatively high. None of the individual IYCF indicators showed significant association with undernutrition, except intake of iron-rich foods for stunting. Nutrition-specific interventions targeted at improving IYCF practices, dietary diversification and intake of nutrient-rich meals, should be adopted and scaled up to address undernutrition in northern Ghana.

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