Rabbit farming to reduce food insecurity!?!?!

The Pith Moromo team will begin a small exploratory study of the role of smallholder rabbit farming to reduce food insecurity and improve income. To do this, we will be partnering with a small community-based organization, Pamoja. They are currently facilitating rabbit farming amongst vulnerable families near Kisumu, Kenya; these are photos from our recent visit to the farm with some Pamoja folks. We have been unable to find any data on the impact of smallholder rabbit farming on human nutrition, health, or income, and would be delighted if anyone could share any data that may be out there!

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Cluster-randomized trial of a baby-friendly community initiative to increase breastfeeding in rural Kenya

The protocol paper for our baby-friendly community initiative trial in rural Kenya is out! While you may have heard of baby-friendly hospital initiatives to increase breastfeeding, these don’t quite get at one of the key promoters (or barriers) to optimal breastfeeding: the community. This is therefore a novel and potentially very powerful  approach to getting more human milk in vulnerable babies! I am delighted to be collaborating with the many excellent scientists on this study, including Prof. Judith Kimiywe at Kenyatta UniversityDr. Elizabeth Kimani at the African Population and Health Research Center, and Ms. Betty Samburu, a PhD student at Kenyatta University.

Last delivery in Pith Moromo

IMG_2121.JPGOur Kenyan pregnancy cohort can now be called a birth cohort! The 371st mama in Pith Moromo (Luo for “Enough Feeding”) has delivered her baby. Many thanks to our fabulous study team in Nyanza (pictured here, collecting data on a tablet) for their dedication, diligence, and overall good cheer.

SNAP: Formative work well underway in Tanzania!

3454a1d2f701883021508919a52227d3With many thanks to our colleagues at Action Aid Tanzania, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology and our new friends in Singida, some wonderful formative work for the Singida Nutrition and Agroecology Project was conducted this summer. Woo hoo!
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Farmer-led curriculum for East Africa well underway!

We had an absolutely astounding week in Ekwendeni, Malawi, working on developing an integrated curriculum that can be used by farmers to teach other farmers about agroecological techniques, nutrition, gender equality and climate change. Did I mention these messages will be tied together with a dramatic soap opera outline, and feature plenty of singing, dancing, and science? Faculty and students from several institutions (Cornell, Michigan State, Chancellor College, University of Manitoba, Action Aid Tanzania) joined with farmer scientists from the Soils, Food, and Healthy Communities project for curriculum development, farm visits, and even a little bit of soccer. Thanks again Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future for the support!

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“Evaluative Ethnography” laid out in awesome new forthcoming text

9781138792227In a chapter in “Ethnographic Research in Maternal and Child Health” Gretel Pelto and I introduce the term “evaluative ethnography” to capture the multi-faceted roles of ethnography to inform and improve the translational process from discovery-oriented research to implementation research. The book, edited by Fiona Dykes and Renée Flacking will be out in 2016, and is definitely worth checking out.

The first UpToDate entry on pica is out

UptodateUpToDate is a handy-dandy online clinical reference tool that clinicians around the world use. I was delighted that they asked me to prepare their first entry on pica. And, I was lucky enough to have Jean Cox, MS, RD, who cares for many women with pica in New Mexico, as co-author. Thanks Jean!