Growth monitoring/promotion (GMP) is defined as “an operational strategy to enable mothers to visualize growth or lack of growth in their children, and to receive specific, relevant and practical guidance in ways in which she, her family and community in general can act to assure health and continued growth in them”.
Objectives of growth monitoring are…
a) Early detection of deviation from normal growth by continuous monitoring,
b) To enable mothers to understand its significance by meaningful communication,
c) To suggest effective and practical interventions e.g. nutritional supplementation,
d) To advice as well as assist the mother, family and community in taking these steps.
Important steps in growth monitoring include —
1) Periodic assessment of growth in every child using a simple growth parameter e.g. Weight,
2) Serial plotting of this parameter on a growth chart
3) Explaining the mother about her baby’s health in simplest terms with visual display on growth-charts and probable reasons for abnormalities,
4) Advising mother and her family regarding proper corrective action,
5) Promoting healthy community practices e.g. breast- feeding.
Essential pre-requisites for growth monitoring are —
• Must be done at every contact point e.g. well-baby clinics, under-5 clinics etc,
• Proper tool e.g. growth charts should be selected, which mothers can understand,
• Effective communication with mother, family and community,
• Feasible and practical advice,
• Need and options for interventions must be explained in simple terms.