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MakSPH to Assess Determinants of Childhood Stunting Reduction in Uganda

The Study’s Principal Investigator in Uganda-Dr. Richard Kajura (Left) confers with Dr. Peter Waiswa (Right) at the inception meeting held on 28th January 2020, Golf Course Hotel, Kampala Uganda.

Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) in partnership with SickKids’ Centre for Global Child Health, on Tuesday 28th January 2020, held an inception meeting at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala, for a study exploring the underlying factors driving stunting and wasting in children under 5, in Uganda. The consultative workshop drew stakeholders from the ministry of health (MoH), Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), and academia from Makerere University School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio–Engineering (MakSFTNB) and Kyambogo University.

Dr. Emily Keats, a Senior Researcher Associate at the Centre for Global Child Health, Toronto, said that data/research on stunting in Uganda was very limited. She added that nonetheless, those studies showed that revealed a negative association between higher wealth levels and stunting. Dr Keats further revealed other factors which contributed to stunting and wasting, including: inadequate breastfeeding, food insecurity, and higher maternal age. Additionally, she disclosed that males were more disadvantaged than their female counterparts.

Dr. Peter Waiswa, an associate professor in the Department of Health Planning and Policy Management at MakSPH, stressed warned that the current stunting rate of 28.9% (UDHS 2016) if not reduced, would reduce the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 15%. He also noted that Uganda’s biggest obstacle to improvement was at the implementation stage, and not lack of strategies. A case of “will” and not “way”.

Dr. Richard Kajura, a Research Associate at MakSPH and the project’s Principal Investigator (PI), emphasized that stunting had no global patterns, and could be found anywhere. However, he observed that “Africa has a general stunting challenge that should be addressed”.

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