Recent and Current Research
The most recent Government survey found that 41 % of children under five years of age were underweight, and around 40% stunted in their growth. Lack of adequate nutrition, even prior to birth has lifelong consequences limiting the capabilities and potential of the individuals. Two nutrition projects are underway to help improve the future for children; i) Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices, and ii) Nutrition supplements.
The recently completed project on Prolonged Labor/ Birth Asphyxia focused on community perceptions of these problems and interventions targeted to promoting earlier and appropriate decisions about health services. A current project on Virtues and Dilemmas will inform LAMB’s holistic approach, looking at the environment for health decision making particularly in families and neighborhoods.
Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices: This 2-year project commenced in March 2011. Its objective is improved feeding practices for children less than two years of age. The focus is on improving the uptake of nutritional messages from various media and face to face sources.
The work at LAMB is part of a bigger project in Bangladesh, organized by Alive and Thrive; funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The project links in to LAMB’s maternal child health program in target unions in Nilphamari and Dinajpur Districts.
- Surveillance on uptake of media messages on Infant and Young Child Feedings (IYCF) to determine if and how TV and radio reinforce and expand IYCF awareness and improved practices,
- Evaluate the effectiveness of three days training on IYCF for community volunteers and health workers compared to the standard six day training module, and
- Evaluate the effectiveness of 4 follow up visits by volunteers compared to 8 on mothers’ ability to feed her child according to the recommended practices. An assessment of the effect of different types of incentives on volunteers’ performance.
Nutrition Supplement: This project – likely for 5 years – looks at the effectiveness and practicalities of using lipid based nutrition supplements for pregnant and lactating mothers and their young children. The supplements are supplied in sachets.
The research is being implemented by a partnership which began in November 2009 and consists of University of California (Davis) in the lead, ICDDR.B and LAMB. The work will be carried out in existing LAMB community work areas.
Phase 1 field work (looking mainly at acceptability of different flavors of lipid based nutritional supplements) took place in 2010. Phase 2, the main program effectiveness trial started the fall of 2011.
Project Objectives include determining
- Acceptability of the supplements
- Efficacy for improving nutrition
- Peoples willingness-to-pay for the supplements
Virtues and Dilemmas: This one year project is in collaboration with the School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University is taking place during 2011. The initial study involving interviews and trial sessions looked at the realities for poor people in having to choose between personal, family and common good for allocation of their very small income.
Prolonged Labor/ Birth Asphyxia: The rate of mothers dying while giving birth is high in Bangladesh. So is the death rate for babies. Significant reduction in the rates are part of the Millennium Goals for Bangladesh.
This project has looked at the problems of prolonged and obstructed labour, and birth asphyxia, typically occurring in cases of birth at home without the presence of a skilled attendant.
LAMB involvement, as part of a wider international program, was completed at the end of 2010. The 3-year project was in collaboration with the Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival at Emory University.
During the research, information gathered from women and their caregivers was used to develop potential preventative aids, such as a pictorial partogram and labor timing tool. The value of these tools to help women and their families make timely decisions regarding care for and referral of mothers and babies to more expert care underwent preliminary assessment in the latter part of the work.
Specific foci of the work included
- Avoidance of misuse of syntocinon
- Recognition of prolonged labor
- Timely referral-birth preparedness and crisis recognition skill
- Management of babies at home
· Emory University · UC Davis
· Arizona State University · AED
· IEDCR · ICDDR.B