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Boston Children's Hospital Global Health

Tanzanian Nutrition Research

LOCATION: Africa (Tanzania)
TOPIC: Nutrition & Research

Tanzania suffers a high burden of infectious and other illnesses that are generally related to poor underlying nutritional status. Undernutrition is widespread, with severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Boston Children’s Hospital has fostered a long-standing collaboration with the leading academic university in Tanzania – Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. Led by Christopher Duggan, MD, MPH, this decades-long relationship has grown even stronger during the last several years through joint large research studies, and both programmatic and training activities. Fostering sustainable research capacity has been a long-term goal of the Harvard-Tanzania collaboration. Several of our Tanzanian colleagues have received training at Harvard through degree programs, short-term non-degree training and academic sabbaticals. Many of our interventional studies focus on nutrition, perinatal health outcomes, and infectious diseases.  These have included a trial of vitamins among Children of HIV-Infected Women, a trial of zinc and micronutrients in Tanzanian children and biomarkers of gut function and predictors of linear growth and neurodevelopment status among young Tanzanian children. These studies address basic and epidemiological aspects of various public health problems, with a focus on nutrition and disease prevention.