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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
icddr,b
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 23, No. 3, 2005, pp. 207-214
Bioline Code: hn05026
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2005, pp. 207-214

 en Perceptions of Growth Monitoring and Promotion Among an International Panel of District Medical Officers
Roberfroid, Dominique; Lefèvre, Pierre; Hoerée, Tom & Kolsteren, Patrick

Abstract

The growth chart has been proposed as an educational tool to make the child's growth visible to both health workers and caregivers and to enhance communication between them. In the case of growth faltering, this would trigger timely corrective measures. Although the relevance of growth monitoring and promotion (GMP) has often been questioned in the literature, opinions of District Medical Officers responsible for local implementation of GMP are unknown. The aim of this qualitative research was to explore the perceptions and difficulties of an international panel of District Medical Officers regarding GMP. As an exploratory study, in-depth interviews of an international panel of District Medical Officers (n=19) were conducted. Data were coded using the QSR Nudist 5.0 software. A discrepancy between intended purposes and practice of GMP was detected at two levels. First, lack of participation of care-givers was reported. Second, the District Medical Officers expressed a restrictive interpretation of the concept of growth monitoring. The communication with parents was never reported as a means or a result of GMP, neither as an evaluation criterion of programme efficiency. The growth chart was mainly considered a tool intended to be used by health services for the purpose of diagnosis. This two-fold discrepancy between the intention of international policy-planners and practice of local programme implementers could be a crucial factor affecting the performance of GMP. More emphasis should be put on social communication and involvement of caregivers.

Keywords
Child growth; Growth charts; Child nutritional status;Perceptions; Developing countries

 
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