Child health and nutrition
Ethiopia has a long history of food insecurity and nutritional problems. It is estimated that nearly 60% of deaths of children under five years is attributable to underlying mild and moderate malnutrition. Those children, who survive malnutrition in the first 2 years of life cannot attain their full mental development potential. Moreover, malnutrition contributes to poverty by aggravating illness, lowering educational attainment and reducing productivity. Even if there are no biochemical studies done in the Gilgel Gibe area, it is evident that micronutrient deficiencies coexist with protein energy malnutrition.
The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health (Medical School), the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Medical School), the Department of Population and Family Health (Public Health), the Health Officers School (Public Health), The Department of Horticulture (College of Agriculture), The Department of Chemistry (Education Faculty) and the Department of Health Education and Behavioural Sciences (Public Health) collaborate in this multidisciplinary research project. The main objective is to improve child growth and development. This is planned to be addressed by improving complementary feeding for young children and decentralising the management of malnutrition to first line health services. Furthermore, the planned interventions are interlinked with improved household food security.