|dc.description.abstract||The study was under taken in Mbala urban district in three health institutions,
namely Mbala General "Hospital Children's - ward, Tulemane Clinic, and
Mbala District has been experiencing a steady increase of number of children
with malnutrition from 1997 to 1999 (643 to 798.1). One wonders whether
there is a relationship between the high number of children with malnutrition
and parents' knowledge and practices.
It is against this background that the study was designed to assess parents'
knowledge and practices toward malnutrition among the under five children. A sample size of 60 respondents was selected for the study.
The study had the following specific objectives; to assess the knowledge
parents have about child nutrition, to identify the types of food parents give
their under five children and weaning methods, identify whether cultural
beliefs, practices and taboos are associated with malnutrition, to identify any
other factors (other than the ones mentioned above) that contribute to
development of malnutrition and to make recommendations to health
providers at the health facilities and parties concerned on how to effectively
improve nutritional status of children under five years in Mbala District.
The data was collected by use of a structured interview schedule from 21st
July to 30th September 2001. A pilot study was conducted in the first week of
the study to test the data collection tool, which was a questionnaire. After
analysis of data from the pilot study, necessary changes were made by
modifying some questions.
Data collected was analysed manually and cross tabulated with the help of a
calculator. The study findings revealed that 63.3% of the respondents had
moderate knowledge on malnutrition. This was attributed to low level of
education in rural areas.
The results revealed that only 10% of the respondents had high knowledge on
signs and symptoms of malnutrition.||en_US