School of Public Health - International Health
Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo - Evaluation of a Baby WASH Intervention to Reduce Environmental Enteropath and Impaired Growth in Young Children in Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa with more than half of the population under the age of 24. In South Kivu Province 54% of children under five years are estimated to be stunted. Undernutrition is estimated to be an underlying cause of 53% of all deaths in young children globally. This decline in nutritional status is thought to be greatest during the first 2 years of life. There is a growing evidence base demonstrating an association between stunting and environmental enteropathy (EE).This disorder is defined by abnormal intestinal morphology, including villous atrophy and crypt hyperplasia, which leads to reduced intestinal barrier function and increased inflammation. EE is thought to arise from unsanitary environmental conditions that lead to repeated exposure to enteric pathogen causing chronic infections. The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate interventions to reduce pediatric exposures to fecal pathogens and thereby reduce environmental enteropathy and impaired growth in this highly susceptible population. Johns Hopkins will lead the formative research and prospective cohort study that will inform intervention development, and a direct a randomized controlled trial of the developed intervention approaches.
Global Health PI/Mentor: Christine George