Robert Mpiira* and Patrick Okello
Research Coordinator and Cluster Research Head - Agriculture and Food Security at BRAC, Uganda
*Corresponding Author: Robert Mpiira, Research Coordinator and Cluster Research Head - Agriculture and Food Security at BRAC, Uganda.
Received: October 16, 2019; Published: January 11, 2020
Nutrition is essential for sustainable development and a cornerstone for the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, malnutrition is still a challenge in Uganda especially among the vulnerable groups – pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescents and children below 5 years of age. Malnutrition being a multidisciplinary issue, it requires a multisectoral approach for it to be addressed. This paper examines an integrated approach to improving food security and nutrition of children below 5 years old by increasing smallholders’ production and consumption of nutrient-rich staple crops in Uganda. The study was conducted in the districts of Ibanda, Sheema, Kalungu and Kyotera in southwestern Uganda using a cluster-randomized controlled design. 180 villages were randomly assigned to six treatment groups (30 villages per treatment group) and 30 villages were assigned to a control group. The results of the follow-up evaluation that was conducted two years after the baseline survey showed a statistically significant increase in food security in the treatment group that had both agricultural and health interventions and the voucher scheme for subsidized agricultural inputs. Wasting and underweight were significantly reduced in the treatment group that had agricultural and health interventions and the voucher scheme for subsidized agricultural inputs, and the treatment group with only health interventions. However, an increase in the prevalence of stunting that was significantly larger than that in the control group was noted in the treatment group that received only agricultural interventions. Hence, a contextual right mix of interventions is required, other factors remaining constant, to increase food security and reduce malnutrition among the vulnerable groups.
Keywords: Children; Malnutrition; Nutrition
Citation: Robert Mpiira and Patrick Okello. “A Multisectoral Approach to Eradication of Malnutrition in Vulnerable Groups: A Cluster-randomized Trial". Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 4.2 (2020): 82-88.
Copyright: © 2020 Robert Mpiira and Patrick Okello. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.