Stunting prevention project in Thatta and Sajawal Districts, Sindh Province, Pakistan

Primary Investigator

  • Sajid Bashir Soofi

Study Period

January 2014 - March 2018

Study Description

Widespread food insecurity and malnutrition are largely the main impairing factors for human capital development in Pakistan. Rates of chronic malnutrition are very high, and acute malnutrition is critical: 44% of children under five are stunted and nationwide global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates amongst children under five exceed the WHO critical threshold of 15%. Nutritional status trends also show a deteriorating situation since 1994, when stunting rates were at 36%.

This study evaluates the effectiveness of food based interventions to prevent stunting among children under-five years with focus on window of opportunity (1000 days from conception to 2 years) for addressing stunting. Pregnant women, lactating mothers and children 6-59 months will receive supplements on monthly basis in intervention areas, while participants in control areas will receive routine public health services available in the study area.

Study Arms

  • Experimental: Wheat Soya Blend (WSB)
  • Experimental: Wawa Mum
  • Experimental: Micronutrient Powders (MNP)
  • Experimental: Behavior change and preventive health massages
  • No Intervention: Control group will receive routine public and private health services available in the area.

Primary Outcomes

  • Stunting-reduction in stunted children in intervention group

Study Interventions

  • Behavior change communication (BCC)
  • Fortified blended foods (FBF)
  • Locally produced
  • Micronutrient powders (MNP)

Research Gaps

  • Effectiveness

    How well do different food compositions and interventions prevent or treat undernutrition, when implemented "on the ground"?

  • Innovation

    What novel food-based products and programming methods effectively prevent and treat undernutrition?

Study Population

5000