The study sought to determine the effects of a health education intervention on breastfeeding and improve weaning practices on acute respiratory infections (ARI) morbidity through a randomized controlled study of clusters of urban poor households in the municipality of Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. The intervention in the "experimental" clusters was provided by neighborhood peers (mother councilors) to pregnant mothers up to the time their infants turned one year old. ARI events were monitored during three-month surveillance periods when ARI incidence was expected to be high. The relative risks for moderate to severe ARI were significantly higher among infants aged 0-8 months in the control clusters. The mean duration of ARI episodes was also 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 was believed to be associated with reduced ARI incidence.
This study aims to promote breastfeeding and improved weaning practices among mothers in the low-income group through health education and to describe the efforts of this health education intervention on morbidity from ARI among the mothers and infants.