Final Summary – PUFA Study Research

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The Acceptability Trial

Until I came to Malawi and began working on Professor Ickes’ PUFA study, I had never conducted (or or heard of, for that matter) an acceptability trial. However, over the last couple weeks, with the help of child nutrition researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, I have been brought up to speed on the ins and outs of such trials. And now, I have developed my own to conduct here in Malawi! Here are the specifics on the trial:

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An exciting change of pace: PUFA

Although I came to Malawi with the goal of working on two studies (the ethnographic study I’ve been posting about and the PUFA therapeutic food study), the process on the ethnographic study has been slowed as we continue to wait on ethics board approval here. Simultaneously, the PUFA study has moved ahead and received ethical approval in Malawi! Working in Africa can be unpredictable, so I am just thrilled that one of Prof Ickes’ and my projects can get off the ground.

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Malawi Bound: Chappell Fellowship Public Health Research 2013

This summer, from mid May-July, I will be conducting an ethnographic public health study in Blantyre, Malawi. The study will examine how maternal capacities—the individual level psycho-social, biologic and organizational characteristics of mothers—influence women’s hygiene and infant and young child feeding practices. I have designed the study over the past year during two independent studies with my research advisor, Professor Scott Ickes, who will carry out a concurrent study Bundibugyo, Uganda. This work is foundational to Dr. Ickes’ broader work in child nutrition interventions in Africa, and the findings from this research will inform a future NIH grant proposal and ongoing research studies in these two field sites.

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