Academic journal article Human Ecology

Knowledge into Action: Researchers Share Strategies for Improving Health in Tanzania

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Knowledge into Action: Researchers Share Strategies for Improving Health in Tanzania

Article excerpt

Last October, ten Tanzanian nutritionists spent two weeks on campus with Division of Nutritional Sciences faculty members and researchers, talking about ways to improve nutrition interventions and education at the local level in Tanzania.

The collaborative project, "Building Strong Nutrition Systems: Implementation Science in Support of Scaling up Nutrition," is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Cornell nutritional sciences professor Rebecca Stoltzfus, director of the college's Global Health Program, is coprincipal investigator on the project along with Mary Mosha, lecturer in the Department of Community Health at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, located on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The project's aims are emphasized by sobering statistics: Globally, more than one-third of children suffer from malnutrition. Eliminating childhood malnutrition would reduce child deaths by about 35 percent and help break the intergenerational cycle of family poverty.

The partnership began with an assessment of nutrition knowledge held by village- and district-level medical and educational staff in several Tanzanian communities, knowing that success depends on the scaling-up nutrition model to train a sustainable, in-country workforce in nutrition education and effective interventions. Currently, project leaders say, weaknesses in the capacity to deliver high-quality nutrition interventions affect the health of 7.3 million children and 10.9 million women of reproductive age in Tanzania.

The second phase looks at the best ways to develop and implement a curriculum for Tanzanian nutrition workers. …

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