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Adolescent Nutrition Needs during Menstruation Period

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Sandra Phiri

Director of Nutrition Projects/YOBO organization

Normal user

18 Nov 2022, 15:11

Dear All,

I am current masters student at EHESP School of Public Health in France. By December we are supposed to come up with our framework for our research project. My Topic is: Adolescent Nutrition needs during menstruation period. I aim to work with any Nutrition department in Malawi, either The Department of Nutrition or any organization, or hospital or Bunda College. However it's hard for me to get hold of them.

OBJECTIVE: To comprehend the extent to which adolescent Nutrition health is addressed in order to improve nutritional outcomes in Malawi, as well as to highlight the global evidence-base and best practices in addressing adolescent nutrition in order to reduce stunting and improve the nutritional status of the overall population.

I would like to ask your advise as well, do you think it will be feasible to recruit 200 Adolescent age from 15 to 22 University students who are residing on their own(meaning they make their own food choices) I want to observe what they eat during the menstruation period. The first month we observe 100 and the second month 100 again. Questionnaires to be used. And we will compare the standard of Nutrition Adolescent needs with the Malawian standard or the world health standard. Comparing if they are indeed eating as required. If not? Could this be the cause of Malnutrition in women of childbearing? In Malawi? Talk of lack of Iron and the like.

Looking forward to your assistance.

Natasha Lelijveld

Normal user

20 Dec 2022, 14:53

Hi Sandra, 

I have put a link to your post on the 'nutritionists in Malawi' whatsapp group, so you might get some connections from that. 

I have concerns about 1) the age range - I think you will get only those 22 years and above if you focus on university students, and these will likely be from relatively wealthy backgrounds. You may want to reconsider focusing on secondary school pupils - even those will be relative wealthy since many 15 year olds are still completing primary school if they come from disadvanged backgrounds. 2) the concept of 'living alone' - I dont think this is common. Most students live in provided accomodation, and food may be provided too, but I dont think that matters, they still make a lot of their own food choices and your study isnt really focuses on choices, but more on dietary intake, so I would remove this criteria of 'living alone'. 3) Observing 100 students per month is a lot, how many is that per day!? 4 students every single day of the month.. I think it seems too ambitious, unless you have a large team. 4) lastly, I am interested in which Malawian or WHO 'standards' you will be comparing to? Since there is not currently very good dietary guidance that is specific to adolescents. Perhaps you will have to just use those aimed at 'women of reporductive age'. This lack of standards should be an important point to highlight in your project discussion. 

I hope that helps. 


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