Nigerian Medical Journal

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Do RuralMothers Comprehend the Growth Chart

RC Ibekwe, MU Ibekwe, LU Ogbonnaya, NS Ibeziako


Background: Growth chart is an educational tool to motivate mothers to take appropriate action to maintain and or improve their child’s nutrition. Its ability to performthis function depends on maternal comprehension
Objective: To determinematernal comprehension of the growth
chart, and also identify factors that influence it.
Method: This cross-sectional descriptive study assessed the comprehension of 362 mothers of under-five children. The tool was an interviewer-administered pre tested questionnaire and analysis was done using SPSS version 11.0 Statistical package.
Results: Twelve point Two percent of the mothers had good comprehension of the growth chart. Education (P= 0.58), occupation (P = 0.08) and parity (P = 0.49) did not influence maternal comprehension. Mothers with good comprehension had better nourished children (P= 0.04). Health workers were virtually the only source of information about growth chart (90.3 %), while language barrier (45.3%) and difficult terminologies
(43.4%) were themajor reasons mothers did not understand the explanations about growth chart.
Conclusion:Mothers in this area do not comprehend the growth chart; this is probably because health workers are poorly trained and growth monitoring is not well promoted.

Niger Med J. Vol. 49, No.3, July– Sept, 2008: 55 – 58.

Keywords:Ruralmothers, growth chart

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