Congratulations to Abby Maranga and colleagues (Undergraduate majoring in Biology & Society, Cornell University ’16) who received First Place and a $500 travel grant for her poster “Perceived Benefits of Livestock Ownership among Female Smallholders of Mixed-HIV Status in Nyanza Province, Kenya” in the American Society of Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition. This poster was top prize amongst those submitted by both graduate and undergraduate students! Abby’s findings emphasized the importance of livestock as social assets, long-term economic investments, and safety nets, and furthered the research on women’s investment in and access to livestock.
Congratulations to Irene Tsai (an Undergrad in Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell 2016) and co-authors whose poster “Food Insecurity is Associated with Depression and Stress Among a Cohort of Pregnant Kenyan Women of Mixed-HIV status” received Second Place and a $300 travel grant in the American Society For Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Poster Competition. The gist of our work is that probable depression and higher perceived stress were associated with food insecurity in Pith Moromo, our pregnancy cohort in western Kenya.
Who would have thought, but— chickens are a great model of human iron metabolism! As such, they can help us to understand effects of geophagy. In our recently published paper in Nutrients we show that a poultry model has clear advantages over prior methods used both in vitro and in humans, and represents an important step in explaining the public health impact of geophagy on iron status.
Congratulations to Josh Miller, an undergraduate member of our team, for receiving the Laureen Knutsen Scholarship! This award will help fund him to travel to Kenya and work closely with our study team this summer.
Congratulations to Dr. Itziar Familiar and co-authors for their abstract “Predictors of neurocognitive outcomes among a cohort of 12-month old infants from Uganda of mixed HIV status” was programmed for a poster presentation at The International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. In this work, we found that HIV-exposed-uninfected children have significantly more cognitive delay than HIV-unexposed-uninfected children. Further, ARV exposure may be associated with better cognitive performance among HIV-exposed but uninfected children, and children living in environments with more stimulation may have better neurocognitive development overall.
Congratulations to Dr. Godfred Boateng and Shalean Collins who have been accepted as USDA ThinkWater Fellows for 2016-2017. This fellowship builds on the theories of systems-thinking to enhance research in water-related fields by incorporating interdisciplinary communication, individually tailored consultation, public presentation, and peer-reviewed publication. Godfred and Shalean will spend the next 8 months developing skills they can apply to the development of the water insecurity scale, and analysis of formative qualitative water insecurity work.
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Fox for winning 1st place in the student poster
competition at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s 2016 Annual
Meeting in Vancouver. The poster highlighted a part of Elizabeth’s dissertation in which she used free listing to illuminate the array of messages HIV-infected mothers received in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and in which she explored the intra-cultural differences betwe
en health workers, and HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers.
Our paper, led by Stephanie Martin, on the use of formative research to develop behavior change strategies to promote iron-folic acid and calcium supplementation in pregnancy is now available in Maternal and Child Nutrition! In brief, we conducted in-depth interviews with pregnant and postpartum women and health workers in western Kenya to identify barriers and facilitators to adherence to prenatal micronutrient supplements. We then used our findings to develop a behavior change strategy with activities targeting the health system, health facility, community, household, and individual levels. This research and strategy are presented here, and the behavior change materials can be viewed here and above.
Congratulations to Dr. Anne Williams and co-authors! Our manuscript “Breastmilk vitamin B-12 concentrations are low and are not associated with reported household hunger, recent animal source food or vitamin B-12 intake among women in rural Kenya” has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Nutrition. We found lower than average dietary B-12 intake and breastmilk B-12 concentrations in lactating Kenyan women. This has important policy and programmatic applications for maternal health and child development.
In the course of our formative work in Kenya on food insecurity (cf. Pith Moromo, below), we discovered that household level water insecurity seems to be an unappreciated source of adverse physical and mental health. As such, it brought me great pleasure that the Young Group received the official notice of award today for our R21 application entitled “Health Consequences of Water Insecurity for HIV+ Women.” We are excited that we will be able to continue to work with our birth cohort in Kenya, to explore the experiences of water insecurity as well as food insecurity.
Pictured below, Godfred Boateng and Shalean Collins are holding the custom kanga that Ann Lei, an undergraduate in the Young Research Group, designed. We will be gifting these to the mothers in our cohort study with as a token of our gratitude. Maybe we will send one to our Program Officer, too!