Knowlegdge and practice of underfive care takers on early signs of malnutrition in chitambo community.

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Chifwaila, Levison.
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Malnutrition continues to be a worldwide problem. Children and the elderly tend to be especially susceptible. Approximately 27 percent of children under 5 in developing world are malnourished. Malnutrition claims about more than half of the 10 million deaths each year of children under-five. The levels of malnutrition in Zambia are some of the highest in Africa with 51.9% of children less than 5 years of age undernourished (WHO, 2007). The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge and practices of under-five caretakers on the early signs of malnutrition in Chitambo catchment area. The study was conducted at Chitambo hospital children's clinic and the health posts. Chitambo hospital is one of the first level referral hospitals in Serenje district, Central province of Zambia. A non experimental, descriptive cross sectional study design was used, and data were collected from October to December 2009 using a structured interview schedule. A simple random sampling method was to select a sample of 50 pregnant caretakers of under-five children from within Chitambo catchment area. This data was analysed by the use of SPSS version 14.0. The results research the revealed that there are a number of factors influencing knowledge and practice of under-five caretakers on the early signs of malnutrition. It was discovered that 85.7% of the respondents who attained primary education had good practice while 14.3% in the same level of education had bad practice. It was also reviewed 100% of the respondents with no education had good practice. The research further reviewed that 80.5% of the respondents who had medium level of knowledge had good practice while 19.5% respondents with the same education level had bad practice. The same table shows that 92% of the respondents with low level knowledge had good practice. The researcher therefore rejected the first and the second hypothesis that stated that there was an association between education level and practice and that there was an association between the respondent's knowledge on early signs of malnutrition and practice respectively.
Malnutrition in children --Zambia. , Child rearing -- Child Nutrition Disorders --therapy --Zambia.