Qualitative Research on Malnutrition in Children in Poor Roma Settlements in Serbia

Qualitative Research on Malnutrition in Children under Five Years of Age in Poor Roma Settlements in Serbia using Positive Deviance in Nutrition Approach
Supported by: UNICEF Serbia

May - December 2017

Topics: Youth and children.
Programmes: Research.

The indicators of the health condition and social well-being of Roma children in Serbia indicate that they are in a much more unfavorable position than children belonging to the majority population. Existing literature on the early childhood development shows the high importance of nurturing care in the earliest years of all children’s development. Monitoring of nutrition indicators, including hygiene habits, housing, cultural norms and customs, level of poverty, unemployment etc., indicates that Roma children from poor settlements are more malnourished and exposed to less positive feeding, caring and health seeking practices than non-Roma children and majority of children living in better conditions.

The main purpose the research, that SeConS conducts in partnership with UNICEF, is to explore the care giving context of Roma children in poor Roma settlements in Serbia, including nutrition, care and health seeking behaviours and practices, in order to recommend measures and actions that will improve positive deviation and positive outcomes. The research identified positive practices of Roma families in the field of nutrition, care and hygiene, the use of child health care. Such practices were the basis for wider promotion of good nutrition and care for Roma children.

The research includes anthropometric measurements and qualitative research (observations and in-deapth interviews) and is conducted in selected Roma settlements in the territory of Požarevac/Kostolac, Kragujevac, Pirot and Leskovac.