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Malnutrition interventions: Mother's compliance and its impact.


Kelsey Shannen S. Mejorada,
Lourdes P. Aparicio

Related Institution

College of Nursing - Holy Name University

Publication Information

Publication Type
Thesis Degree
Medical - Surgical Nursing
Publication Date
March 2015



Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is very important for everyone, but it is especially important for children because it is directly linked to all aspects of their growth and development. During the first two years of life whether the children are well nourished or not can have a profound effect on their health status, as well as their ability to learn, communicate, think, socialize and adapt to new environments and people. 

However, malnutrition is a condition which occurs when the children don't get enough nutrition in their body. It refers deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in intake of energy, protein and other nutrients. Nevertheless, there are several causes of malnutrition. It may result from absent parents, lack of education and information about good and adequate nutrition, failure to breastfeed exclusively from birth to 6 months, poor hygiene and sanitation, quality of food and low food production, social practices, and presence of illnesses such as digestion problems, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. It makes a child susceptible to  infections and delays recovery, thus increasing mortality and morbidity. 

Malnutrition is the largest single contributor to diseases in the world, according to the United Nation's (UN's) Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN). In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that malnutrition is by far the largest contributor to child mortality globally, currently present in 45 percent of all cases. Underweight births and inter-uterine growth restrictions are responsible for about 2.2 million child deaths annually in the world. Deficiencies in vitamin A or zinc cause 1 million deaths each year. 

The nutritional status of the children can be assessed through different modifiable factors. These factors can be considered to be highly influencing the level of malnutrition which include food access, food distribution within the household, quantity and quality of food intake by the child and food expenditure. All these factors are part of the role of mothers. In a traditional male dominated society, most of the women are housewives rather than earners for the family; however this situation has changed over the years. Although at present many mothers work the same as the fathers, they still spend more time on child and household activities than that of the fathers. Therefore, females have to make a choice in meeting all such demands. It is clear, that the nutritional condition of pre-school children is highly dependent on how mothers successfully complete their duties and responsibilities towards their children.

A study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (2011) shows that malnutrition is prevalent in Filipino children. According to FNRI Senior Science Research Specialist Lilibeth Patalen-Dasco, if malnutrition occurs in 0 to 47 months period and it is not directly managed within the first two years, then children will probably suffer throughout their lives particularly delayed mental development, poor school performance and reduced intellectual capacity.

A UNICEF study shows that the more educated mothers are, the better nourished their children are. Indeed, children of mothers with a primary education level have 94 percent of less risks of growth stunting from malnutrition. Educated mothers should know the importance of breastfeeding for six months and the necessity of raising their children in a clean environment to avoid diseases which worsens malnutrition.

According to 2011 report published in the Lancet, there are more than 3 million children die each year because of malnutrition, accounting for more than 50 percent of deaths among those the age of 5. Philippines is ranked 48th in global ranking of stunting prevalence out of 136 countries. Over one-third of child deaths are due to under-nutrition, mostly from increased severity of disease in the country.

In early 2013, there was an existing challenge in the management of child malnutrition in Bohol. Out of 52,600 children screened, 460 children were identified as underweight and 2,666 as severely underweight. However, a follow-up nutrition assessment integrated with immunizations nearly two months after the earthquake which screened 12,800 children under five revealed 1,180 (9.2%) had MAM and 330 (2.6%) had SAM and so a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 11.8%. With other aggravating factors such as damaged and destroyed water, sanitation and hygiene systems and health facilities, acute malnutrition in Bohol has reached emergency threshold level (8 to 15% GAM).

Based on the aforecited situations, the researcher being a nurse decided to conduct this study. The researcher believed that the rate of undernourished  children in the locality can be reduced and the incidence of increase rate of malnutrition can be prevented if the parents will be encouraged and reinforced about the proper management to their children's health.





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Holy Name University Library Periodical Section Grad/T M47 c2015 Fulltext Print Format

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