Malnutrition and Diarrhoeal
diseases pose a significant threat to the health, well-being, and survival of under-five
year old children in resource constrained world. It is estimated that (25%) out
of the total mortality of under-five year old children die worldwide as a result
of diarrhoea (UNICEF, 2012) and more than half of these deaths in developing world
particularly in Zambia has an underlying association with malnutrition (UNICEF,
2015). The objective of this study was to assess the levels of Knowledge, Attitudes,
and Perceptions towards malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases preventive and control
practices among caretakers of under-five children of Pemba District. This study
used a Cross section study design. The study population was adult care-takers of
children aged between 4 months to 5 years. The sample size comprised of 210 caretakers.
Health Centers in Pemba District were selected conveniently; 210 households were
selected using a simple random sampling technique, and respondents from each sampled
household were picked purposively. Data collection was conducted using a semi-structured
interview questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 24, and X2 test and
Correlations were used and conclusion done at 0.05 significance level. The study
revealed that majority (76.6%) of caretakers demonstrated low levels of knowledge,
with 51% demonstrating poor attitudes towards control of malnutrition and diarrhoeal
diseases, and some (57.1%) demonstrated fair practices, among the HBM variables,
Perceived benefits towards diarrhoeal disease prevention showed a moderate correlation
(Pearson’s) of 0.30 at 0.01 level (2-tailed). The poor result identified in this
study reveals the reasons for the current diseases burden especially malnutrition
and diarrhoeal disease trends in the district. Perceived benefits, therefore, was
established to be moderately correlated and should be used to design any intervention
measures aimed at correcting the situation.
Keywords: Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions,
Practices, Diarrhoea, Malnutrition and Caretakers.
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