A high dropout rate was noted at the under five clinic of the University of Kinshasa Teaching Hospital. A preliminary study carried out in March 1984 on 197 children indicated that none of them had completed the five year period of the growth monitoring programme. Five hundred mothers of children attending the under five year clinic were then randomly selected from the 1224 who registered between September 1983 and August 1984. They were interviewed at home during a six week period. This paper confirms the dropout problem. It discusses whether mothers should abandon the visits early. It concludes that health workers should be trained to advise mothers to bring their children to the programme up to five years though the attendance frequency may be reduced from the second year onwards.