AgriDiet is a a research partnership between eight universities and research centres in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Tanzania, led by University College Cork.
The aim is to understand how agriculture impacts on the nutritional status of rural households and to identify policies, practices and interventions that can make a positive impact on nutritional status.
On this website you will find information about the 9 work package components of the project, plus regular updates from the project team in our news section and the latest outputs in our project reports section. You can also register to receive the project’s quarterly newsletter and browse our resource centre of relevant research on agriculture and nutrition.
We are currently in the early stages of the 3 year project, having held initial stakeholder workshops earlier in the year. We have also recently released a final draft paper reviewing agriculture-nutrition linkages, led by our IDS partner, and a revised version of our Methodology Guidelines and Conceptual Framework, led by the UCC team.
We would be interested to hear your thoughts on our project and to link with stakeholders and others involved in similar research
AgriDiet is a a research partnership between eight universities and research centres in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Tanzania, led by University College Cork. The aim is to understand how agriculture impacts on the nutritional status of rural households and to identify policies, practices and interventions that can make a positive impact on […]
Background: Malaria and malnutrition are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in under-five children in developing countries such as Ethiopia. Malnutrition is the associated cause for about half of the deaths that occur among under-five children in developing countries. However, the relationship between malnutrition and malaria is controversial still, and it has also not been well documented in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess whether malnutrition is associated with malaria among under-five children.
Methods: A case–control study was conducted in Adami Tulu District of East Shewa Zone in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Cases were all under-five children who are diagnosed with malaria at health posts and health centres. The diagnosis was made using either rapid diagnostic tests or microscopy. Controls were apparently healthy under-five children recruited from the community where cases resided. The selection of the controls was based on World Health Organization (WHO) cluster sampling method. A total of 428 children were included. Mothers/caretakers of under-five children were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaire prepared for this purpose. The nutritional status of the children was assessed using an anthropometric method and analyzed using WHO Anthro software. A multivariate logistic analysis model was used to determine predictors of malaria.
Results: Four hundred twenty eight under-five children comprising 107 cases and 321 controls were included in this study. Prevalence of wasting was higher among cases (17.8 %) than the controls (9.3 %). Similarly, the prevalence of stunting was 50.5 % and 45.2 % among cases and controls, respectively. Severe wasting [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) =2.9, 95 % CI (1.14, 7.61)] and caretakers who had no education [AOR = 3, 95 % CI (1.27, 7.10)] were independently associated with malarial attack among under-five children.
Conclusion: Children who were severely wasted and had uneducated caretakers had higher odds of malarial attack. Therefore, special attention should be given for severely wasted children in the prevention and control of...
Background: Ethiopia is one of the countries with the highest burden of undernutrition, with rates of stunting and underweight as high as 40% and 25%, respectively. National efforts are underway for an accelerated reduction of undernutrition by the year 2030. However, for this to occur, understanding the spatial variations in the distribution of undernutrition on a varying geographic scale, and its determinants will contribute a quite a bit to enhance planning and implementing nutrition intervention programmes.
Objectives: The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the large- and small-scale spatial variations in the distribution of undernutrition indicators, the underlying processes and the factors responsible for the observed spatial variations.
Methods: We used nationally available climate and undernutrition data to evaluate the macro-scale spatial pattern of undernutrition and its determinants. We applied a panel study design, and evaluated the effect of growing seasonal rainfall and temperature variability on the macro-scale spatial variations (Paper I). We conducted a repeated cross- sectional survey to assess the performance of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) developed internationally to measure household food insecurity. The results from this validation work were used to modify the HFIAS items for subsequent papers (Papers III and IV). We conducted a census on six randomly selected kebeles to evaluate the spatial patterns of undernutrition on a smaller scale (Paper III). For Paper IV, we conducted a cross-sectional survey on a representative sample, and employed a Bayesian geo-statistical model to help identify the risk factors for stunting, thereby accounting for the spatial structure (spatial dependency) of the data.
Results: In Paper I, we demonstrated spatial variations in the distribution of stunting across administrative zones in the country, which could be explained in part by rainfall. However, the models poorly explained the variation in stunting within an administrative zone during the study period. We indicated that a single model for all agro-ecologic zones may not be appropriate. In Paper II, we showed that the internal consistency of the HFIAS' tools, as measured by Cronbach's alpha, was adequate. We observed a lack of reproducibility in HFIAS score among rural households. Therefore, we modified the HFAIS tool, and used it for subsequent surveys in this thesis (Papers III and IV). In Paper III, spatial clustering on a smaller scale (within a kebele) was found for wasting and severe wasting. Spatial clustering on a higher scale (inter-kebele) was found for stunting and severe stunting. Children found within the identified cluster were 1.5 times more at risk of stunting, and nearly five times more at risk of wasting, than children residing outside this cluster. In Paper IV, we found a significant spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of stunting in the district. Using both the local Anselin Moran's I (LISA) and the scan statistics, we identified statistically significant clusters of high value (hotspots) and a most likely significant cluster for stunting in the eastern part of the district. We found that the risk of stunting was higher among boys, children whose mother or guardian had no education and children who lived in a food-insecure household. We showed that including a spatial component (spatial structure of the data) into the Bayesian model improved the model fit compared with the model without this spatial component.
Conclusion: We demonstrated that stunting and wasting exhibited a spatial heterogeneity, both on a large and small scale, rather than being distributed randomly. We demonstrated that there is a tendency for undernourished cases (stunting and wasting) to occur near each other than to occur homogeneously. We demonstrated a micro-level spatial variation in risk and vulnerability to undernutrition in a district with a high burden of undernutrition. Identifying such areas where a population at risk lives is central in assisting a geographical targeting of intervention. We recommend further study, possibly using a trial design or implementation research approach, to help evaluate the feasibility and benefits of geographically targeting nutritional...
This paper provides a summary of the situation of nutrition in Tanzania, and an institutional analysis of the principal actors in nutrition nationally and locally. The paper argues the need to focus on prevention of malnutrition by protecting, promoting and sustaining improved nutrition in children under...
This brief examines the status of nutrition in Tanzania. Despite improvements between 1999 and 2004/05, data clearly show that the prevalence of child undernutrition remains high in Tanzania and malnutrition begins at an early age. Based on the evidence presented, the brief concludes that a national strategy to prevent malnutrition must focus upon protecting, promoting and sustaining improved nutrition in children under two years of age. Strong advocacy for nutrition and effective coordination of interventions under national leadership are urgently required to raise the profile of nutrition and improve nutritional outcomes in...
This case study of a Tanzanian food processing business analyses the potential of mid-sized businesses to
contribute to tackling undernutrition. Particularly among young children and pregnant mothers, undernutrition has lifelong consequences and impedes individuals’ health, wellbeing and life chances. Providing nutrients through food is one way to reduce undernutrition, in conjunction with improvements in health and sanitation.
This report examines how private companies can contribute to producing and delivering nutrient-rich foods to undernourished populations, as well as the constraints they face in doing so. It offers recommendations to governments, non -profit organisations and other development actors on how to collaborate with businesses
in this area to catalyse their potential. The study examines the case of Power Foods Limited, a midsize company,
and the first in Tanzania to produce fortified nutrient-rich foods from traditional crops. It is also the first local
company to produce ready -to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), used for the treatment of severe acute...