Growth Monitoring is a screening tool to diagnose nutritional, chronic systemic and endocrine disease at an early stage. It has been suggested that growth monitoring has the potential for significant impact on mortality even in the absence of nutrition supplementation or education. (IAP)
Growth Monitoring and Promotion (GMP) is a public health intervention which makes use of frequent assessment of the growth of children under five years. The programme enables health workers to early detect growth failure and take corrective actions through improvements in feeding and care practices. (Accra). Growth monitoring (GM), a process of regular weighing and measuring height and comparing the results with a standard, is used in numerous community-based program settings to assess the growth status of children and often also to determine whether to deliver additional interventions.( Revisiting the concept of growth monitoring and its Possible role in community-based nutrition programs)
So, growth monitoring consists of routine measurements to detect abnormal growth, combined with some action when this is detected. It is widely accepted and strongly supported by health professionals, and is a standard component of community pediatrics services throughout the world. (GMW).
Monitoring the growth of a child requires taking the same measurements at regular intervals, approximately at the same time of the day, and seeing how they change. A single measurement only indicates the child’s size at that moment. Growth monitoring is one of the basic activities of the under 5 clinics. Growth Monitoring must start at an early age in the child’s life, right from birth. The AWW should weigh all new borns and children from birth- 1 month weekly, one month- 3 years every month and 3-5 years at every three months. Children who are severely underweight, or who have not gained weight for 2 months, or who are “at risk” of under nutrition, should be weighed frequently preferably every month. The golden principle of New WHO Growth Standards: – weighing and plotting weight of children on the basis of completed weeks/months u It is advisable to conduct four weighing sessions in a month at the AWC so that all children are weighed every month.
Government of Ethiopia developed the National Nutrition Strategy (FDRE 2008) and the National Nutrition Programmes (NNP) in an effort to accelerate the reduction of undernutrition. The second phase of NNP (NNP II), which covers the period from 2016 to 2020, addresses the multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional nature of nutrition, and guides policies, strategies, programmes, and partnerships that deliver evidence-based, cost-effective nutrition interventions (FDRE 2016c). Several additional initiatives embody the government’s commitment for improved nutrition. The Seqota Declaration (2015-2030) aims to eliminate all forms of malnutrition among children under age 2 by 2030 (FDRE 2015b). Nutrition is fully integrated in the Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP) (FDRE 2015a). In a broader context, nutrition indicators are included in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), an economic development plan of the Government of Ethiopia (FDRE 2016a).
The evaluation of anthropometric data on the height and weight allows for the identification of subgroups of the child population that are at increased risk of faltered growth, impaired mental development, and death.
There is low utilization of growth monitoring and promotion services in Ethiopia. According to research done in Southern Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia the overall utilization of GMP services is 16.9%. The study found that the health professionals focus on weighing and identifying children’s nutritional status instead of discussing with mothers and communities.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES