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Syracuse University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Cameroon: Social Pluralism and Development


This research project aims to identify and analyze the conditions that influence breastfeeding perceptions and practices within two opposing socioeconomic level quarters of Yaoundé, Cameroon: Bastos and Madagascar. According to the World Health Organization recommendations for optimal infant and young child nutrition, mothers are advised to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life after birth before introducing complimentary feeding. Cameroon since 2005 has adhered to the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. It is classified as a Category 1 as a country which discourages commercial pressures to feed alternative forms of nutrition known as breastmilk substitutes.

This four-week case study utilizes the demographic and behavioral information of fifty mothers with six in-depth follow-up interviews to begin to understand local realities in relation to exclusive breastfeeding, mixed feeding, and breastmilk substitutes.

Further discussions with healthcare professionals of the Chantal Biya Foundation, the Deputy Director for Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Public Health, the Food and Nutrition Officers at both the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organization, as well as several informal conversations in the community demonstrate the influence of national and international organizations on the breastfeeding decisions of mothers.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Maternal and Child Health | Sociology of Culture | Women's Health



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