The study aims to promote breastfeeding and improve weaning practices among mothers in the low-income group through health education intervention on morbidity from acute respiratory infections among mothers'infants.
The effects of a health education intervention on breastfeeding and improved weaning practices on ARI morbidity among infants was determined thru a randomized controlled study of clusters of urban poor households in the municipality of Muntinlupa. This study was piggy-backed on the Infant Feeding Intervention Project of the Diarrhea Study Group of this institution. The intervention among the experimental clusters was health education promoting breastfeeding and improved weaning practices as provided by neighborhood peers (mother counselors) to mothers from early stages of pregnancy until the infants turned one year old. ARI events were monitored during the 3 three-monthly surveillance periods when the ARI incidence was expected to be high. The relative risks for moderate to severe ARI were significantly high among infants aged 0 to 8 months in the control clusters. The mean duration of the ARI episodes was likewise observed to be longer in the control clusters. Breastfeeding was confirmed to have a protective effect against ARI in both the experimental and control clusters. Maternal care in the experimental clusters were believed to be associated with reduced ARI incidence. This study forwards the recommendation that the health education on infant feeding should be an integral part of the ARI control strategy.