The study to determine factors contributing to the development of malnutrition among children aged 0 - 5 years at St Francis Hospital, Katete, Zambia.
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The study had the following general objectives: to determine whether mothers of malnourished children practice family planning to avoid frequent pregnancies , to determine whether breast feeding and weaning practices were associated with malnutrition, to identify any cultural beliefs which were associated with malnutrition, to determine whether diarrhoea diseases were associated with malnutrition, to identify if food insecurity was associated with malnutrition, to make recommendations to health providers at the hospital, community and the government at large on how to effectively improve the nutritional status of children under 5 years, in Katete District and to identify any factors that could contribute to the development of malnutrition in children aged 0-5 years in Katete District. A descriptive study was conducted using a structured questionnaire. Respondents were parents or guardians taking care of malnourished children. The sample size consisted of fifty (50) respondents. Data collected were analyzed manually and cross tabulated. The major recommendations that were derived from the study were that the study of this kind should be done on a large scale (that is to cover the whole district, province, or country). All other members of multi sectoral team should be included to combine resources and counteract every factor that would be found to be associated with malnutrition. Hospital Health workers should strengthen information education and communication, emphasis should be on effective use of available family planning services, discourage negative traditional attitudes towards breast feeding and weaning practices.