Document Detail

Impact of a clinic-based growth monitoring programme on maternal nutrition knowledge in Lesotho.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1544759     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An evaluation of the impact of a nationwide clinic-based growth monitoring (GM) programme was done in Lesotho to determine if clinic attendance was associated with improved maternal knowledge of weaning practices and diarrhoea. A total of 907 mothers from eight clinics were included in the study. Our results showed that mothers who had attended the clinics knew more about the appropriate timing for introducing animal protein-rich foods in the child's diet and about the use of oral rehydration salts for diarrhoea, than those who had not. The difference in knowledge between previous clinic attendants and new attendants was particularly marked among mothers with less than secondary schooling and mothers with young babies (less than 6 months). From observation in the clinics, we believe that group nutrition education, although it was not integrated with growth monitoring, was probably responsible for the positive association between clinic attendance and maternal knowledge. Prior clinic attendance was not specifically associated with improved knowledge about feeding during diarrhoea or the need to stop breastfeeding gradually. These need to be better incorporated into present clinic nutrition education. Whether improvements in growth monitoring would further significantly improve nutrition education remains to be seen.
Between December 1985-November 1986, survey data from 907 mothers of 2-year-old children in 8 Catholic Relief Services (CRS) clinics in Mahale's Hoek and Mafeteng districts in Lesotho were analyzed to determine if attendance at a typical nationwide clinic-based growth monitoring program improved maternal knowledge of weaning practices and diarrhea management. 85% of the mothers were Basotho women. At the clinics, the mothers did not undergo individual counseling or receive training in growth charts. Group nutrition education efforts did occur, however, but separately from the program. Mothers who attended a clinic had a significantly higher increased knowledge of the appropriate timing for introducing animal protein rich foods and about the use of oral rehydration salts than those who did not attend (p.05). This association was especially significant for mothers with only primary education and those with infants 6 months old. The mothers reported breast feeding a mean of 2 years. 85% knew to introduce cereals and liquids between 4-6 months old. Yet few mothers knew how to appropriately stop breast feeding. For example, 50% believed it should stop in 1 day. The researchers believed that the separate group nutrition activities contributed to the positive effect of clinic attendance on maternal knowledge of nutrition and diarrhea management. Other research needs to be done to determine if teaching of growth charts and individual counseling would significantly improve maternal knowledge. Clinic staff delivering improved educational messages could have a significant positive effect on the growth and health of Basotho children who are undergoing weaning.
M T Ruel; J P Habicht; C Olson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of epidemiology     Volume:  21     ISSN:  0300-5771     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Epidemiol     Publication Date:  1992 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-04-10     Completed Date:  1992-04-10     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7802871     Medline TA:  Int J Epidemiol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  59-65     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Guatemala.
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MeSH Terms
Diarrhea, Infantile / therapy
Educational Status
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
Infant Food
Infant, Newborn
Maternal Health Services* / utilization
Nutritional Sciences* / education

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