Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) are interventions to reduce neonatal mortality and undernutrition. We investigated the knowledge of allopathic and Ayurvedic, Yoga-naturopathy, Siddha, and Homeopathic (AYUSH) general practitioners in rural western India and identified attributes associated with awareness and knowledge on these topics.
This cross-sectional study of general practitioners in the Anand district of Gujarat, India, used an anonymous self-reported survey. Multivariable regression models were used to identify practitioner attributes associated with awareness and knowledge.
Among the 158 respondents, a quarter (26.0%) were trained in allopathic medicine and 63.0% had practiced for 5 years or more. The average score of breastfeeding knowledge was 8.0 of 13. Most (79.1%) did not have any awareness of KMC. After adjusting for potential confounders, knowledge of breastfeeding practices among AYUSH practitioners was 4-fold greater than that of allopathic practitioners (incidence rate ratio: 3.9; 95% CI: 3.2-4.6). By contrast, AYUSH practitioners had 80% decreased odds of awareness about KMC compared with allopathic practitioners (odds ratio: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.1-0.3).
This study demonstrates distinct knowledge gaps among allopathic and AYUSH general practitioners regarding breastfeeding and KMC. There is a need for tailored continuing medical education among general practitioners to enhance their clinical knowledge of newborn care practices to achieve improvements in neonatal health.