Knowledge, attitudes and practices of caregivers of children aged between 0-6- months, residing in the urban informal settlement of Eatonside in the Vaal Triangle

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Mangwane, Queen Elizabeth
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INTRODUCTION: Caring for children is a challenge that requires a number of resources including knowledge, a reasonable workload, time and social support of the caregiver. Maternal education is an important asset in providing good care giving practices: child feeding practices and the use of preventative health services depend on knowledge more than on household resources. Poverty has been linked with poor childcare and child malnutrition; South African children especially those who are living in informal settlements, are vulnerable to poverty. Appropriate practices by caregivers have enabled them to raise well~ nourished children in a community where there is poverty. This implies that caregiver's attitudes, beliefs and practices in relation to childcare, and proper utilisation of limited resources can make a major difference in their children's health, growth and development. In order to plan appropriate interventions in the Eatonside informal settlement, an improvement in the knowledge of, attitude toward and practice of childcare and care giv1ing is required. OBJECTIVES: To examine the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of caregivers regarding childcare and care giving behaviours with children aged 0- 60 months and to assess existing types of care arrangements in the study area. STUDY DESIGN: An exploratory study was conducted among 145 randomly selected caregivers of children aged 0-60 months, living in the informal settlement of Eatonside. Knowledge and practices were determined by focus group discussions (FGD); an attitude scale questionnaire was used to determine attitude; and a hygiene and feeding observation checklist was used to determine the hygiene and feeding practices.
M. Tech. (Food Service Management, Dept. of Hospitality and tourism, Faculty of Human Sciences)|, Vaal University of Technology,
Child care, Child feeding, Maternal education, Child health