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Assessment of knowledge and socioeconomic status of caregivers of children with malnutrition at a district hospital in Ghana

Rita Ameyaw
Emmanuel Ameyaw
Jacob K Agbenorhevi
Charles Kumi Hammond
Benard Arhin
Taiba Jibril Afaa


Background: Malnutrition is a significant public health problem and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children.

Aims: To assess knowledge and socioeconomic status of caregivers of children under 5 years with malnutrition at a district hospital in Ghana.

Methods: Case Report forms were used to gather data in a cross-sectional study which was carried out among 189 caregivers and their children aged from zero to fifty-nine months at the Out-Patient Department clinic.

Results: Most (80.95%) children had marasmus. Sixty-two point four-two percent had severe wasting, while 35.45% had mild stunting. The rest, 21.69% had moderate stunting; while only 2.12% severe stunting. Almost all caregivers (94.71%) had heard of exclusive breast feeding as a good feeding practice but only 58.20% practiced it. Most caregivers (68.26%) had no education or only up to basic level, p=0.035. The average number of children per family was 4.8 per household (SD: 1.69) with majority of them (64.55%) having 4-6 children per family and 13.23% of them had more than 7 children per family, p=0.009. More than
a third (37.04%) of the caregivers earned less than a hundred Ghana cedis (GhC 100 [US$ 19] per month and 50.26% of them earned between GhC 101 (US$ 19) and GhC 500 (US$ 96) per month.

Conclusion: Lower level of caregivers’ education and large family size were risk factors for developing malnutrition among children.

Keywords: Caregivers; knowledge; malnutrition; socioeconomic status.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905