Connect with us

Nutrition & Dietetics

Maternal Nutritional Knowledge And Nutritional Status Of Under Five Children Attending Family Health Unit In University Of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.




Background and objectives: Sub-optimal complementary feeding in children within the first 1000 days of life could have an irreversible effect on their growth and development. This study was designed to assess the maternal knowledge and nutritional status of children attending nutrition clinic at University of Portharcourt Teaching Hospital

Methods: The study was descriptive and cross-sectional in design.A total of 290 children were selected using a two-staged sampling technique. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain the relevant information. WHO child growth standard charts and were used to categorize their anthropometric indices. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics

Results: Sociodemographic information revealed a high educational, occupational engagement and moderate income status of the respondents. Average (62.1%) and good (50.0%) knowledge of nutrition and child feeding were respectively observed. Healthy child intake pattern such as colostrum feeding (98.4%), on demand breastfeeding (93.8%), continued breastfeeding (80.6%), age appropriate complementary feeding (87.9%) were reported in this study. Stunting (35.6%), underweight (30.0%) and wasting (32.0%) prevalence were reported in this study. Poor and average maternal knowledge of nutrition and child feeding significantly influenced stunting and wasting in children.

Conclusion: Maternal nutrition knowledge is poor, half of them had good IYCF knowledge. Malnutrition prevalence in this study is of public health concern.Effort geared at improving the behaviour oriented knowledge level of mothers and also financially empowering them will strengthen their ability to care for their children.



1.1       Background of the Study

Good nutrition is the fundamental pillar for the maintenance of positive health (Ghosh and Shah, 2014). A nation’s health depends on the healthy citizen. A healthy adult emerges from a healthy child (Sudheer, 2010). Nutrition of the under-five children is of greatest importance because the foundation of our lifetime health, strength, intelligence, and vitality is laid during this period (Sreevani, 2004).  Adequate nutrition entails a diet that contains the constituents (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals) that are required for body building, energy supply, body defense and regulatory functions in quantities commensurate with the body need The type and amount of food an individual chooses to consume not only affects his or her well-being but also have implication on the offspring and the society as a whole. Household consumption pattern are personal behaviors that are developed over the years and maybe influenced by physiological and social factors (Ziegler et al., 2002). The choices of which foods to eat, where to eat and when to eat are intensely personal and influenced by not only prices and income but also time challenges, family structure, cultural factors and nutritional knowledge.

See also  Nutrient Composition And Sensory Properties Of Cookies Made From Hungry Rice (Digitaria Exilis) And Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea) Flour Blends

A  mother  is  the  major  provider  of  the  principal  care  that  her  child  needs  during  the  first  five years of life.  In Nigeria, women are usually responsible for producing and preparing food for the household, so their knowledge of good nutrition or lack of it can affect the health and nutritional status of the entire family.  Knowledge of mothers has an important role  in  the  maintenance  of  nutritional  status  of the children and protection of their nutritional needs to ensure sound  foundation  and  secure  future  of  any  healthy  society (Ray et al., 2009).  For this mother has to be made more aware about feeding practices of  infant  and  other  health-care  practices  and  this  will  go  a  long  away  in  reducing  the  severity  of  malnutrition.  Sometimes mothers do not know the importance of variety and balance in the diet and the right amount and types of foods needed by children to meet these dietary needs.  Without adequate knowledge, malnutrition and poor nutritional status can occur in households with sufficient income, food and health services (FAO 2011).

According to the World Health Organization (2016), many women do not get enough micronutrients in their diets during their reproductive age as well as during pregnancy. They are also unaware of how much their nutritional status impacts their pregnancy and infant outcomes. The nutritional status of children is important as it determines their health, physical growth and development, academic performance and progress in life. Poor nutritional status, especially among children, have negative effects on their health and development during early years of life (Prado and Dewey, 2014).

See also  Effects Of Commonly Consumed Traditional Foods For Diabetes On The Blood Glucose Level Of The Undergraduate Students Of Imo State University Owerri

Malnutrition has been responsible directly or indirectly for 60% of the 10.9 million deaths annually among children under 5 years in the whole world, where two thirds of these deaths are associated with inappropriate feeding practices in the first year of life (WHO, 2003). In developing countries, malnutrition accounts for 50% deaths of the children under five years (ACC/SCN, 2000). In Africa, malnutrition contributes to half of the 9.7 million annual under five deaths and is a leading cause of diseases and disabilities in children (WHO, 2000 and UNICEF, 2007).

1.2       Statement of Problem

The need to assess the mothers’ knowledge of nutrition which influences breastfeeding complementary feeding practices and the anthropometric status of children has become important since child malnutrition can result from sub-optimal breastfeeding practices, poor quality complementary foods, detrimental feeding practices and contamination of feeding utensils and the effect of such practices on the growing child and mother.

Maternal knowledge of feeding practices of infants and young children is crucial for undertaking or improving health and nutrition programmes in a country (Sethi et al., 2003). So, it is presumed that it is worthy to conduct a study to assess mother’s knowledge, attitude and practices of infant feeding and care regarding complementary feeding for evidence based programme planning and intervention. It is also envisaged that it will provide information about existing knowledge and practices of the mothers so that the appropriate steps could be taken to fulfill the goals of the appropriate complementary feeding practices hence this study.

See also  The Prevalence Of Hypertension And Ascertain Its Risk Factors Among Traders In Obio-Akpor Lga, Rivers State

Recent report Nigeria’s progress towards reducing child mortality by a two-third since 1990 is off track, with only an average of 1.2% reduction in under-five mortality yearly (FMH and Save the Children 2011). Annually, nearly one million children die in Nigeria before they reach the age of 5 years and globally about 11 million under-five children die. In 2006 there was an estimated 9.5 million deaths of children of under-5 years of age globally and poor nutrition which increases the risk of illness contributed directly or indirectly to more than one-third of these deaths. Undernourished children are regularly prone to measles, malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and other illnesses (FMH and Save the Children 2011). Evidence has shown that children who are malnourished and have deficiencies of micronutrient early in life have a lifelong impairment of cognitive and physical development.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

1.3.1    General Objective

The general objective of the study is to assess the maternal nutritional knowledge and nutritional status of under 5 children attending Family Health Unit at University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital

1.3.2    Specific Objectives

  • To assess the maternal nutritional knowledge
  • To determine maternal knowledge of IYCF
  • To assess the nutritional status of children
  • To determine the relationship between child nutritional status and maternal nutritional knowledge.

1.4       Justification of the Study

The findings from this study may be useful to the Ministry of Health, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in improving the overall nutritional knowledge of mothers which consequently impacts on child health and survival.

Also study findings will provide baseline data for future researchers on maternal knowledge of nutrition and Infant/young child feeding

Pages:  67

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Source: Imsuinfo                            

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Project Materials

IMSU Info contains over 1000 project material in various departments, kindly select your department below to uncover all the topics/materials therein.