The Ife South Breastfeeding Project: training community health extension workers to promote and manage breastfeeding in rural communities.Bull World Health Organ. 1997; 75(4):323-32.BW
Reported are the results of a project to promote exclusive breastfeeding in rural communities through the training of community health extension workers in rural Nigeria. A workshop for the trainers was organized for health workers in the study area; subsequently, these trainers ran district-level training workshops. In the study area perinatal facilities, early initiation of breastfeeding has increased compared with those in the control area (P < 0.001). Also, the trained health workers had significantly better knowledge about breastfeeding than their untrained colleagues in both the study (P < 0.001) and control areas (P < 0.001), and more often recommended timely initiation and exclusive breastfeeding than the controls (P < 0.001). A multivariate analysis showed that the training programme and the study area were the only significant variables that were predictors of breastfeeding knowledge (P < 0.001). Appropriate education of health extension workers can therefore contribute significantly to the promotion of breastfeeding in rural communities.