A Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess Effectiveness of the In-Home Growth Monitoring Tool (GroMoTo) in Addressing Childhood Stunting
Dr. Agha Ali Akram (LUMS) and Dr. Hina Khalid (ITU)
The study is a collaboration between multiple local and international leading researchers, aiming to see whether a slight intervention in growth monitoring of infants can help in preventing childhood stunting, which currently stands at 38% in Pakistan.
It is hypothesized that caregivers from disadvantaged communities in developing countries do not receive adequate, direct, and regular feedback on the growth-trajectory of children in their care. It also constrains them in developing a better understanding of the relationship between different childcare inputs – such as appropriate nutrition and safe drinking water – and healthy physical development.
Consequently, despite having access to information on optimal parenting practices via traditional nutritional counseling, caregivers do not respond to signals on their child’s growth by adjusting their nutritional and child-care inputs, leading to stunting of their children. As a prospective solution, an easily implementable, flexible, and low-cost in-home growth monitoring tool called GroMoTo is proposed and intend to test its effectiveness with an open-label randomized controlled trial (RCT).
The research model includes dividing the base group from Karachi Pakistan into three groups and each being studied with the following factors over a period of time:
- Standard nutrition counseling by Community Health Worker.
- Counseling + GroMoTo, which would be a chart to visually note height of the child over time, thus making it easier to understand and compare.
- Counseling + GroMoTo + (labeled) Cash transfer as incentive and financial support.