Caregivers’ Knowledge on Routine Growth Monitoring of Children Aged 9 Months in Nyamira County, Kenya

Justus O. S. Osero


DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/72-05

Publication date:March 31st 2020

1. Introduction

Growth monitoring is one of the services offered in Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) Clinics in health facilities encompassing routine check-ups by health workers to examine whether a child is growing as expected. Other services provided in these clinics are not limited to; vitamin A supplementation, immunization, health education and counselling, minor ailment treatment, screening for nutritional and medical conditions for management and defaulter tracing and follow-ups (Debuo et al. 2017). Measuring the weight and length of children monthly reflects their growth pattern which is compared against WHO’s growth standards to ascertain whether a child is growing consistently, showing a growth concern or trending towards a growth problem that need to be addressed. A study conducted in Southern Ethiopia found out that 53 % of the caregivers had poor knowledge on growth monitoring (Daniel et al. 2017). Majority of them said they did not know what a growth chart entailed nor did they know how to interpret growth curves (Daniel et al. 2017). A study conducted in Ghana revealed that more than 40% of the caregivers lacked good knowledge on routine growth monitoring. This study found out that more than 30% of the caregivers did not understand the meaning of routine growth monitoring and only 18.7% of them were able to interpret the normal, static, upward and decline growth curves (Debuo et al. 2017). A study in Zambia established that majority (92%) of the caregivers of children aged between 0-59 months had knowledge on the importance of growth monitoring (Banda, 2012). Caregivers of children aged between 12-23 months in Zambia and Ethiopia were reported to have poor knowledge on feeding practices (Bilal et al. 2014, Banda, 2012). Daniel et al. (2014), Elana et al. (2009) and Roberfroid et al. (2005) found out that more than half of the caregivers were unable to understand and interpret the growth charts. Low comprehension on growth charts implies that healthcare providers do not educate caregivers using the growth chart (Gyampoh, 2012).

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