Twenty six percent of children with protein-energy malnutrition live in Africa. This studydetermines whether Care Groups (CG) in collaboration with Community-based HealthEducators (CHE) help reduce malnutrition in children between 0 and 23 months of age. A total of 299 caregivers at baseline (2004) and 380 at follow-up (2007) were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Caregivers were between 12 and 49 years (mean 26.9 years standard error (SE)=0.33, 95% confidence interval (CI):26.3 to 27.6). Data was analysed with STATA version 10. A two-sample t-test was used to compare the findings while logistic regression analysis was used to test the association between outcome variables and predictor variables. Underweight children decreased from 16.3% at baseline to 7.6% at follow-up, fluid intake during diarrhoea episodes increased from 4.6 to 16.1%, exclusive breastfeeding increased from 91.9 to 95.2%, children attended by skilled health personnel at birth increased from 45.2 to 72.8%. Dehydrated children were 1.61 times more likely to be taken to hospital. Children weighed in the previous three months were 1.3 times more likely to have received food with marula nuts added to it. The world relief project appears to have improved caregivers’ knowledge and behaviour regarding child nutrition in Gaza province of Mozambique.
Key words: Community health workers, care group (CG), baseline, follow-up, malnutrition, underweight, dehydration, Mozambique.
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