Centre for International Health
phd candidate

Taye Gari Ayana: Investigating links between malaria, anaemia and malnutrition in children under 5

Taye Gari Ayana’s study revealed malaria infection being a risk factor for undernutrition, although undernutrition was not found to be a risk for malaria infection

Taye Gari Ayana
Taye Gari Ayana

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Ayana works as an instructor at the School of Public Health, Hawassa University in Ethiopia. This is where the joint PhD programme with UiB takes place. Taye has also a background in public health where he has conducted his MA studies at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

 Upon joining CIH’s PhD program, Taye started investigating one of the pressing health issues of his country and sub-Saharan Africa – malaria. Taye says malaria, anaemia and malnutrition are very much interconnected and they affect all humans irrespective of their age though children under 5 are the most vulnerable ones.

Accodingly Taye’s study evaluates the ongoing malaria prevention effort against anaemia reduction and thereby weighs the linkage among malaria, anaemia and undernutrition in children between ages of 6 and 59 months residing in a drought-affected rural area in south-central Ethiopia.

Dubbed as “Malaria, anaemia and undernutrition in a drought-affected area of the Rift Valley of Ethiopia: Experiences from a trial to prevent malaria”, Taye’s PhD study is heading towards its conclusion.

The research unfolds that malaria infection was a risk factor for undernutrition, although undernutrition was not found to be a risk for malaria infection.

Based on his findings Taye suggests the need to prioritize villages closer to main mosquito breeding sites for malaria control. The research also recommends on the need for close follow-up of the nutritional status of children with malaria infection.

In the future Taye is enthusiastic about conducting an operational research that can be used by health service managers in his homeland, Ethiopia.