Original Research

Evaluation of the child growth monitoring programme in two Zimbabwean provinces

Anesu Marume, Saajida Mahomed, Moherndran Archary
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3373 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v14i1.3373 | © 2022 Anesu Marume, Saajida Mahomed, Moherndran Archary | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 December 2021 | Published: 06 July 2022

About the author(s)

Anesu Marume, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, Ministry of Health and Child Care Zimbabwe, Health Promotion, Government of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Saajida Mahomed, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Moherndran Archary, Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The child growth monitoring (CGM) programme is an important element of nutrition programmes, and when combined with other child health programmes, it can assist in successful management and control of malnutrition in children.

Aim: This study aimed to assess the extent to which the CGM programme is able to identify instances of childhood malnutrition and how much this contributes towards malnutrition reduction in Zimbabwe.

Setting: The study was conducted in Manicaland and Matabeleland South provinces of Zimbabwe. The two provinces were purposively selected for having the highest and least proportion of children affected by stunting in the country.

Methods: The CGM programme in Zimbabwe was evaluated using the logic model to assess the ability of the programme to identify growth faltering and link children to appropriate care.

Results: Records from 60 health facilities were reviewed. Interviews were conducted with 60 nurses, 100 village health workers (VHWs) and 850 caregivers (300 health facility exit interviews, 450 community based). Nearly all (92%) health facilities visited had functional measuring scales. Twelve health facilities (20%) had no functional height board, with five using warped height boards for measuring children’s height. Less than a quarter (21%) of the children had complete records for weight for age and height for age. A large proportion of children eligible for admission for the management of moderate (83%) and severe malnutrition (84%) were missed.

Conclusion: The CGM programme in Zimbabwe is not well equipped for assessing child height for age and management of children identified with malnutrition, thus failing to timely identify and manage childhood stunting.

 


Keywords

adverse nutrition outcome; children; weight-for-age; height-for-age; growth faltering; growth monitoring; Zimbabw

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