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Integrated Intervention on the Linear Growth and Psycho-Cognitive Development of Malnourished Children Aged 6-59 Months in Kanam, Plateau State, Nigeria

Sunday Jacob, Audu Andrew Jatau, John Wukatda Darbe, Falade Job Olakunle, Helen. S. Jacob, Mohammed Buhari

Federal College of Education, Nigeria

This study examines the impact of an integrated intervention programme on the linear growth and psycho-cognitive development of malnourished children aged 6-59 months in Kanam, Plateau State, Nigeria. The intervention employs a multifaceted approach, including nutritional supplementation, psychosocial stimulation, water, sanitation and hygiene. A mixed method approach that employed multi-stage cluster sampling technique to select malnourished children aged 6 to 59 months residing in the targeted communities was used. Quantitative assessments of anthropometric measurements height/length, weight and mid-upper arm conference were undertaken to assess nutritional status, and psycho-cognitive assessment along with qualitative data from caregiver interviews and community feedback, were utilized to evaluate the intervention's effectiveness. The findings of the study show that community whose children received the complete package recorded higher liner growth. This was followed by communities whose children received two packages of nutrition and psychosocial support, as well as nutrition and water, sanitation, hygiene respectively. The community whose children received only nutrition had the least liner growth. Furthermore, the study shows a greater improvement in psycho-cognitive development among children in two communities that had psychosocial support added to their packages compare to the children from the other two communities without psychosocial support been added. Recommendations made include the need to establish community food-based intervention programmes, create awareness among parents to be more involved in psychosocial activities with children, provision of age-appropriate stimulation materials, training of parents/caregivers on responsive caregiving practices, and the need to establish safe spaces for play and learning in schools and communities.



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