What is Growth Monitoring?
Growth monitoring involves following the changes in a child's physical development over time, by regularly measuring their weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference. These measurements are then compared to the average measurements of healthy children of the same height, to determine whether proper development is occurring.
How does Growth Monitoring work?
Children that don’t meet their developmental goals are at a higher risk of experiencing both short term health effects such as a lowered resistance to infections, and long term effects such as growth retardations, reduced intellectual development and a higher risk of death.
The aim of growth monitoring is to assist CNP/Kore Timoun monitrices in detecting and addressing development and malnutrition problems early on to prevent these effects. Each month CNP/Kore Timoun monitrices visit all the children in their communities aged under 5-years and track their development by measuring their weight, height and MUAC. Children that are identified with acute malnutrition are referred to CNP/Kore Timoun’s CMAM project for rehabilitation and those underweight are referred to the PD Hearth project.
At CNP/Kore Timoun growth monitoring is also used as an opportunity for monitrices to communicate with mothers about nutrition and child health and to encourage thinking about the possible causes of poor growth and malnutrition. This in turn can lead to changes at the household level, and ultimately in the community itself. Monitrices also take this opportunity to give children vitamin A and deworming medication on a systematic basis along with children’s multivitamins and prenatal vitamins for pregnant and lactating women.