Archive for October, 2013

Prevalence and public health relevance of micronutrient deficiencies and undernutrition in pre-school children and women of reproductive age in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa

Rohner F, Northrop-Clewes C, Tschannen AB, Bosso PE, Kouassi-Gohou V, Erhardt JG, Bui M, Zimmermann MB, and Mascie-Taylor CGN.

September 2013 – Public Health Nutrition

To understand the prevalence and magnitude of nutritional deficiencies pre-school age children (pre-SAC) and non pregnant women of reproductive age (WRA) in Côte d’Ivoire, a national cross-sectional survey assessing maco/micronutrient status and infection (e.g. malaria) was conducted. In pre-SAC, anaemia was classified as a severe public health problem (72%), and was higher in rural areas (76 %) and the north (87 %). A quarter of pre-SAC suffered from vitamin A deficiency (inflammation-adjusted) and prevalence of undernutrition (assessed by stunting, wasting and underweight) was high. The prevalence of inflammation (67%) and malaria parasites (25%) were also of concern. In WRA, prevalence of malaria parasites (5 %) was low, but inflammation (34 %) was higher. Anaemia was a severe public health problem and prevalence differed by residency and eco-region. Inflammation-adjusted Fe deficiency was highest in urban areas (20 %). Nationally, folate deficiency was 86 %, higher in urban areas and varied by eco-region. Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency was low but higher in the rural areas and the north. Inflammation adjusted vitamin A deficiency was very low (1 %). Prevalence of inflammation, malaria parasites and micronutrient deficiencies were high in Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in pre-SAC. Nutritional interventions should be accompanied by strategies to reduce exposure to infections.

Testing the performance of newly developed low phytic acid bean varieties in iron deficient Rwandese women

Project Completed

Beans have been shown to be a promising vehicle for iron biofortification and biofortified high-iron varieties have the potential to reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency in bean-consuming populations. Nevertheless iron bioavailability from beans is low and recent studies surmise that this is due to beans’ high phytic acid content as the binding of iron and phytic acid prevents an individual’s absorption of the iron. To address this issue, bean varieties that have very low amounts of phytic acid (about 1000µg/g bean) have been recently developed in an attempt to serve as a sustainable approach for increasing iron intake. To compare the absorption of low phytic acid beans with existing biofortified high-iron varieties, GroundWork has been tasked by HarvestPlus conduct a multiple meal stable-isotope study in iron-deficient women in Rwanda. GroundWork will implement this study in collaboration with the National University of Rwanda and ETH-Zurich.

Analysis of Stunting Reduction in Ethiopia

Project Completed

Over the past decade, Ethiopia has made huge strides in fighting malnutrition. Child stunting (a measure of chronic malnutrition) has shown considerable improvement, decreasing by approximately 14 percentage points since 2000. In order to accelerate the reduction in the prevalence of stunting and continue the improvement in the nutritional and health status of children in Ethiopia, GroundWork is undertaking an analysis of Ethiopia’s 2000, 2005, and 2011 Demographic and Health Surveys to assess the potential causes of stunting and reciprocally, reasons for improvement over the past decade.