Children in Jordan: what is their health status and how do they perceive nurses?

J Pediatr Nurs. 1995 Oct;10(5):335-9. doi: 10.1016/s0882-5963(05)80056-9.


PIP: 45% of Jordan's 1991 population of 4.2 million was younger than age 15 years. The 1992 rate of infant mortality was 35 deaths/1000 live births and there were 5 child deaths/1000. 94%, 94%, and 88% of two-year old children in 1993 were fully immunized, respectively, against polio, triple, and measles. The major causes of infant mortality are prematurity (19.5%), pneumonia (18.4%), gastrointestinal problems (11%), and infectious diseases (7.4%), while the major causes of death among children under the age of five years are gastrointestinal (14%), pneumonia (12.5%), infectious diseases (3.5%), and accidents (3%). Causes of death among infants and children under five were known for only 50% and 30% of deaths, respectively. In 1990, approximately 94% of infants were breastfed, with the percentage falling to 84% by age 4-5 months and 66% after 9 months. 5.6% of infants younger than age one year and 13.1% of children aged 2-5 years were anemic. 20% of children under five were stunted or short for their age and another 3% of children under age five were wasted. The majority of these children's health problems could be managed and improved through health promotion and primary prevention. Nurses can greatly influence the health status of children and mothers in Jordan by providing quality care at all levels of promotion and health care intervention. Assessing children's image of nurses is an important aspect of nursing care. Jordanian children aged 6-12 were therefore asked to make two representational drawings and commentary of a nurse doing something and a nurse and doctor working together. Independent nurse roles perceived by the children included treating, examining children, and planning for care. Only a minority depicted doctors in a dominant, larger size. 30% of Jordanian nurses are male, but all drawings depicted female nurses; only female nurses care for children in Jordan. 62% drew nonsmiling nurses, 52% drew nonsmiling children, 96% of children's drawings depicted children lying passively in bed, and interaction between nurses and children was depicted in only 3% of the drawings. Nurses should encourage interaction and more active participation and involvement by children.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education, Nursing
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jordan
  • Nurses*
  • Nutritional Status