Knowledge of mothers and nutrition status of children aged 6-59 months in Kahoora division, Hoima district Uganda
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Introduction: In Uganda, malnutrition among children under 5 years of age remains high with 28.9% of children stunted and is responsible for 40% of deaths among children. Malnutrition has been associated with the knowledge of mothers, and thus assessment of knowledge is paramount to reduce the high levels of malnutrition. Objective: To assess knowledge of mothers and nutrition status of children aged 6-59months in Kahoora division, Hoima district. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional quantitative study was carried out in Kahoora division from December 2019- January 2020. The sample size was 299 mother-child pairs. Interviewer guided questionnaires were used to collect data from mothers. Anthropometric measurements were carried out in children. Data were managed using SPPS version 25. Bivariate analysis using Pearson’s Chis square χ2 was done to examine the association between independent and dependent variables. A p-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: In this study, 58.9% of the mothers were knowledgeable while 41.1% of the mothers were not knowledgeable about nutrition of children. The prevalence of stunting, underweight, wasting, and overweight was19.4%, 10.4%, 6.7%, and 3.3% respectively. There was a significant association between the occupation of the mother and knowledge (X2=7.160, p=0.028). There was a significant association between knowledge and nutritional status as indicated by chi-square statistics: WHZ (56.785, 0.009), HAZ (4.504, 0.034), and WAZ (4.093, 0.043). Conclusion and recommendation: The majority of the mothers were knowledgeable. The prevalence of malnutrition is still high in Kahoora division. Knowledge of mothers was associated with the nutritional status of children. The occupation of the mothers was found to be associated with their knowledge about child nutrition. This study recommends that community sensitization of mothers should be done to incorporate mothers’ knowledge into practice to improve the nutritional status of children.