Childcare practices and nutritional status of children aged 6-36 months among short and long term beneficiaries of the Child Survival Protection and Development Programmes (The case of Morogoro, Tanzania)
A comparative cross-sectional study was carried out to compare childcare practices and nutritional status of children aged 6–36 months in Mwembesongo and Mjimpya wards that had long and short experiences respectively with the Child Survival, Protection and Development (CSPD) programme. The purpose of the study was to establish whether the long-term implementation of the CSPD programme had an impact compared to that of a short-term programme. The findings showed that the children from Mwembesongo
were exclusively breast-fed for a significantly longer period (50 days) than those in the Mjimpya ward (32 days) and that significantly more mothers (95.7%) in Mwembesongo than in Mjimpya (84.5%) attended growth monitoring programmes. On the other hand,
significantly more mothers in Mjimpya (71.5%) compared to those in Mwembesongo (51.8%) breast-fed immediately (less than one hour) after birth. The study revealed that there was no significant difference in children's nutritional status (wasting and underweight)
between the two wards, except for stunting. More children in Mwembesongo (39.7%) than in Mjimpya (27.5%) were stunted. The findings have demonstrated that financial capacity to support children's food and care requirements forms a springboard from which
to launch additional efforts for improved nutritional status.
SAJCN Vol. 21 (1) 2008: pp. 16-20