The Impact of the Programmes
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The Impact of the Programmes book
In general, nutritional awareness among rural Kikuyu women is neither extremely low nor high. Usually, 40-60% of the women answered questions on nutrition correctly (Table 16). In general the newcomers to the three programmes (infrequent MCH-visitors, recent PSH-participants, FLT-cases at admission) did not do any worse than mothers in the control group with the exception of the question of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea often plays a crucial role in causing malnutrition and Oral Rehydration Therapy was only starting to be advised at the time. PSH-participants and FLT-cases seem to be far less knowledgeable about the treatment of diarrhoea. Noteworthy is the high nutritional awareness of mothers who are admitted to FLT centres. On virtually all questions these women give a higher percentage of correct answers than respondents in the other programmes and even than women in the general population. It seems unlikely that this high level of knowledge and preferences is a true characteristic of this group. It is more probable that during the illness of the child and, as a result of contacts with neighbours and health personnel, the women have somehow become sensitized to the nutritional needs of children. Although
Table 16. Nutritional knowledge of mothers in different study groups
1 Number of choices for legumes and animal products
(maximum score: 16).