Document Type



Community Health Sciences


The objective of growth monitoring is to detect early growth faltering before the child becomes severely malnourished. It has been found in many large projects in the private sector and in Government run Primary Health Care (PHC) programmes that monthly weighing is not feasible which makes it impossible to develop a functional outreach programme on a sustainable basis. This study is an attempt to propose an intermittent growth monitoring which is operationally feasible for large scale PHC programmes in the public sector. A historical prospective study was conducted to find out the correlation of weights of children at different ages with weights at subsequent months. Two hundred and ninety-two growth cards of children were selected from two squatter settlements of Karachi which are having a PHC programme through the Aga Khan University. At six months, about 71% of children were within the normal range, with increasing age from 10% to 39% of these children shifted to grade I Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM). When weights of children for each month were correlated with weights at all other months up to 24 months, it was found that correlation coefficient at 6th and 9th month were significant (P value < 0.001). Probability of developing malnutrition at different weights and ages were also calculated. The results indicate that malnutrition starts appearing at 6 months and weights at 6 months and to a lesser extent at 9 months are better prognostic indices of future malnutrition. Intermittent weighing of children can help in early identification of "high risk" children who can then be managed and even be prevented from developing future malnutrition.


Journal of Pakistan Medical Association