Undernourishment with key mineral and micronutrient (M&M) deficiencies of iron, zinc, folate, and vitamin-B12 among women during pregnancy predisposes to serious complications, especially during labor and delivery. In addition, children of such mothers can develop midline birth defects, altered brain development, and a predisposition to infections. Despite the publication of new methods and guidelines to optimize maternal and infant nutrition through simple modifications in healthcare delivery, clinical practic in developing countries often remains entrenched in patterns of care that are not state-of-the-art. We believe that addressing the urgent imperative to optimize nutrition among women and their children in resource-poor settings requires a forum where a local multi-disciplinary faculty group of expert clinician-researchers can meet to reflect on these clinical advances;freely communicate on the relevance of these data to their practice;identify gaps in the literature that can be addressed through research;and then develop short-term research projects that can then lay the foundation for a larger preventive strategy to optimize maternal-child nutrition. There is a novel infrastructure in Eldoret, Kenya, at AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access To Healthcare;www.iukenya.org/)-a 20-year old organizational construct consisting of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi University, and a consortium of North American Universities-with faculty who have expertise and a track record of disciplinary research involving Behavioral &Social Sciences, Pediatrics, Reproductive Health, Adult Medicine, and Nutrition. AMPATH is interested to strengthen the cross-fertilization aspects of inter-disciplinary research that focuses on the optimization of care for women and children in resource-poor settings. So the Specific Aim of this R13 proposal is to bring AMPATH faculty together for two conferences to challenge them to think outside of their intra-disciplinary silos and collaborate with members of other disciplines to implement contextually appropriate 'low-tech'interventions that can positively impact the nutrition of women, infants, and children in resource-poor settings. For the first conference, after reflecting on recent advances in maternal-child nutrition, and based on the group's consensus on the key specific aims that should be addressed in an R21 proposal, we will develop focused plans to generate the necessary preliminary information over the following year. We will also use focus groups and health barazas-the customary form of community assembly in Kenya-to initiate a dialogue among women, elders and thought leaders to attain a deeper community understanding of socio-cultural issues surrounding maternal-child health and nutrition. At the second conference, we will discuss these preliminary results and refine the draft of a NIH R21 proposal that focuses on an innovative clinical trial designed to assess the benefit of a M&M intervention at birth on the infant's hematologic profile, susceptibility to infections, behavioral and intellectual development a year later. Such studies are a necessary prelude to a larger community-based longitudinal project via a NIH R01 format. 1

Public Health Relevance

This is a proposal to bring together a multi-disciplinary team of clinician-researchers from Eldoret, Kenya, for two conferences to learn about recent advances on ways to improve the iron-, zinc-, folate-, and vitamin-B12- status of women and children. Then, using a focused approach to brainstorm on these methods, we will identify gaps in the literature that pertain to research-poor settings, and then develop short- term R21 research plans to test clinical interventions to prevent and treat these deficiencies as a prelude to larger community-based interventions in Kenya. 0

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Conference (R13)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Reddy, Uma M
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Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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