Background: Growth monitoring is one of the most effective measures for the prevention of malnutrition in childhood.
Aim: The aim of this research was to determine caregivers’ knowledge and value of growth monitoring in under-five children.
Materials & Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study in which Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used for data collection and growth charts were given to the caregivers to identify different growth patterns.
Results: Under-fives sampled were 323. Males comprised 54.5%(176/323), females 45.2%(146/323). Mothers brought the children to the hospital 78.6%(254/323) of the time, fathers 10.2%(33/323), both parents 5.9%(19/323). Respondents who had heard of growth monitoring were 52.9%(171/323); 30.7%(99/323) had been taught how to use the growth chart; 53.6%(173/323) had seen a growth chart; 63.2%(204/323) were able to identify the growth charts correctly. Of those who had been taught to use the growth chart, 87.9%(87/99) were able to identify the charts correctly while 99.0%(98/99) believed that growth charting in childhood was important (p=0.03).
Conclusion: While many parents appreciated the importance of growth monitoring in childhood, a small proportion of them had heard about growth monitoring or had actually been taught how to use the growth chart or were able to correctly identify the growth chart. A similar survey among health care professionals needs to be done in order to properly investigate the root of this problem. The importance of growth monitoring in childhood needs to be reemphasized and will go a long way to improve the health indices of children in Nigeria.