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Submitted: 16 May 2007 Modified: 19 September 2019
HERDIN Record #: PCHRDPC911824

A socio-cultural inquiry of some targeted maternal and child health program (TMCHP) participants.

 Jansen William H

It is apparent that the TMCH participants who made up the respondent population in this small survey have experienced only limited educational and economic opportunities. This same population has been exposed to a greater risk of child mortality than is common in the Philippines as a whole. There is also evidence that some of these families have experienced recurring cases of malnutrition. These and other indicators combine to make a strong case of characterizing these respondents as being from the lower socioeconomic levels of Philippine society Most intriguing is the fact that most respondents held a perspective different from nutrition science in regards to malnutrition. Underweight children were commonly considered to be normal and diet was not always a variable associated with child health. Concepts concerning the sufficiency of food quantity and a "proper" healthful diet seem blurred and may be initially indistinguishable in the minds of the respondents. All these perceptions obviously have a firm basis in tradition. They may also be related to a larger and more complex structure of general health beliefs Since a popular willingness to participate in the TMCH program is generally present, the basic social acceptability of the program can probably be taken as a safe assumption. The data which showed the differences in the respondents approaches to malnutrition are perhaps the most significant for TMCH planning and implementation purposes If this conceptual difference found in this sample population holds true for the participant population at large, then the nutrition education component of the TMCH activities may be the most influential in bringing about a lasting behavioral change on the part of the people. Such a change could represent the largest single step toward a rise in the general nutritional level for the Philippines. (Summary and Conclusions)

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Philippine Journal of Nutrition
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Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Library Box No. 119 / LA Fulltext pdf (Request Document)

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