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GLOBHELS-Global helse

Focus on Nutrition and Child Health: Intervention Studies in Low-income Countries

Awarded: NOK 10.9 mill.

Malnutrition and common infections are the leading cause of ill health and death among marginalized children who also face other health risks, such as limited health care access, poor hygiene and overcrowding. HIV infection in children directly increases their risk of common infections but adds to the vicious cycle of poverty, malnutrition and infection also by reducing adult work capacity and income. Many mothers who are, or who are afraid of being HIV-positive refrain from giving breast milk to their ch ildren, substantially increasing their risk of infections and malnutrition. We have established a network of scientists from three Norwegian institutions with competence in nutrition, epidemiology, health economics, pediatrics, scientists who are currentl y engaged in large research projects in Asia and Africa. During ongoing observational studies, we describe the nutritional status of future mothers as well as of refugees and HIV-positive children. These studies will yield important knowledge on the exten t, causes and consequences of malnutrition, knowledge that is important when planning interventions. Moreover, our extensive intervention trials involving nearly 10,000 children in Asia and Africa, measure the effect of micronutrient supplementation and p romotion of exclusive breastfeeding. The trials are geared towards rapid translation of positive findings into national and international child health promotion programs. A substantial part of the funds for the field studies are already secured from the E U-INCO program, from NUFU and NORAD, leaving a corresponding void of funds for our Norwegian researchers. While securing some critical additional running costs for the field studies and for the interaction between scientists in Norway and in the collabora ting countries, the current program will fund Norwegian researchers involved in the studies, thereby building global health research capacity also in Norway.

Funding scheme:

GLOBHELS-Global helse