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Growth is an increase in physical size, composition and distribution of tissues as a result of a combination in an increase in the number (hyperplasia) and size (hypertrophy) of cells.

Development is the increase in complexity of structures and of the functions which takes place in the same time period and often in a parallel fashion.


Developmental domains include: Posture and Gross motor, Vision and Fine motor, Communication and language and Cognitive function.

Growth Monitoring and Anthropometry


Linear growth (Length/height)


Average length is 50 cm at birth

Table below shows height growth rate during childhood

growth intro
linear growth

Weight for age

Table  below shows average weight gain during childhood.


Note: Above 2 years of age estimate weight of the child using the formula (2x + 8) ± 5 (x)

Where x is the age of the child in years


Head Circumference

Average Head circumference: 35 cm at birth

Mid Upper Arm Circumference

Table below shows normal Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC)


Note Disease conditions and growth abnormalities related to this chapter are discussed in respective chapters.

Updated on 20.08.2020

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  1. Tanzania standard treatment guidline for pediatric 2017

  2. MSD manual professional version. Introduction to growth and development. August 20.08.2020

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