225319 Findings from the Whole Village Project in Tanzania: Food insecurity, malnutrition and food aid identifying opportunities for systems change

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Kari Hartwig, DrPH , Office of International Programs and Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Susan James, MBA , Savannas Forever Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania
S.G. Mfinanga, MD, PhD , Muhimbili Medical Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Esther Ngadaya, MD , Muhimbili Medical Research Centre, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jennifer Simmelink, MSW , Office of International Programs and Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Majory Kaziya, BS , Savannas Forever Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania
Hilary Caldis , Office of International Programs and Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Bruce H. Alexander, PhD , Regional Injury Prevention Research Center, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, PhD , Department of Anthropology, University of California - Davis, Davis, CA
Deborah Levison, PhD , Hubert Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Craig Packer, PhD , Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Background: The Whole Village Project (WVP) in Tanzania is designed to assess the longitudinal impact of a variety of health, agriculture and economic development assistance projects. In this presentation we present baseline data from 15 villages in northern Tanzania collected in 2009-2010. Methods: The WVP uses a longitudinal study design that combines surveys from 60 to 75 randomly selected households per village with focus groups and key informant interviews. Baseline data are being collected in 55 villages in northern Tanzania in 2009-2010. Key measures include socio-economic status, education, height/weight measures for children under-5, nutrition, food security, breastfeeding and child weaning practices, livestock resources, and agricultural production. Data are collected at the individual, household, and village level and reported back to villages within ten months of the initial visit. Results: The 2009 drought had a significant impact on pastoralist/agropastoralist communities as compared to agriculturalists included in this analysis: 7 to 24% of children under-5 were identified as moderately to severely malnourished as compared to 5-9% in agricultural communities; similarly 42-82% of pastoralist households went to bed hungry at least once in the past month compared to 10-20% among agriculturalists. Most of the villages both pastoralist and agriculturalist reported some outside food assistance. Other than occasional food aid there was little evidence of government or others addressing the broader systems issue of food insecurity. Discussion: Rural villages in Tanzania are at significant risk of food insecurity. Alleviation of this risk is inconsistently addressed by international agencies and local and national government.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the factors that contribute to food insecurity and poor nutrition outcomes in rural villages in Northern Tanzania. 2. Identify at least two local and international actions which may reduce health inequities.

Keywords: Food Security, Developing Countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the analysis and drafted the abstract and presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.