Practices and Challenges of Growth Monitoring and Promotion in Ethiopia: A Qualitative Study

Practices and Challenges of Growth Monitoring and Promotion in Ethiopia: A Qualitative Study

The use of growth monitoring and promotion (GMP) has become widespread. It is a potential contributor towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals of halving hunger and reducing child mortality by
two-thirds within 2015. Yet, GMP appears to be a prerequisite for good child health but several studies have shown that there is a discrepancy between the purpose and the practice of GMP. The high prevalence of
malnutrition in many developing countries seems to confirm this fact.

A descriptive qualitative study was carried out from April to September 2011. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted
amongst mothers and health workers. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis technique, with the support of ATLAS.ti 5.0 software. The results suggest that most mothers were aware of the need
for regular weight monitoring while health workers also seemed to be well-aware and to practise GMP according to the international guidelines. However, there was a deficit in maternal knowledge with regard to child-feeding and a lack of basic resources to keep and/or to buy healthful and nutritionally-rich food.
Furthermore, the role of the husband was not always supportive of proper child-feeding. In general, GMP is unlikely to succeed if mothers lack awareness of proper child-feeding practices, and if they are not supported by their husbands.