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Urban malnutrition - what do we know?

This question was posted the Urban programming forum area and has 6 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Tamsin Walters

en-net moderator

Forum moderator

26 Oct 2012, 14:12

Urban malnutrition data is very difficult to ascertain, because surveys often do not differentiate between urban and rural, or because there is a view that rural areas are more vulnerable. In cases where urban malnutrition rates are reported there is often a failure to disaggregate data by poor areas and those that are better off, so that the specific vulnerabilities of disadvantaged groups are concealed. Please share your views on this, experiences or research findings.

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

27 Oct 2012, 12:29

Just FYI ... UNICEF Sudan has been using an adaptation of the RAM sampling method to estimate GAM (and other indicators) in both rural and urban settings as part of a nationwide program of surveillance by repeated cross-sectional survey. The urban variant uses satellite imagery to map large towns and cities and to take a spatially even sample.

You may want to ask UNICEF Sudan to share their experiences with this method.

Mara Nyawo

Nutrition Specialist / UNICEF

Normal user

31 Oct 2012, 09:54

Here in Sudan we have 2 experiences of urban sampling:
1) We have developed a community nutrition surveillance system with Mark's support which samples livelihood zones using a spatial sampling methodology. The state capitals are sampled seperately and treated as seperate livelihood zones. As Mark says, towns were divided into segments (approximately equal size in terms of population), and each segment further divided into blocks (again approximately equal size in terms of population) using satelite imagery. We obtain one point estimate for each livelihood zone, so cannot disaggregate data within the towns. We need to collect more data over time to make sense of the trends, but so far results have shown a swing in prevelance of GAM in the urban zones as well as rural zones influenced by season (GAM has increased in urban as well as rural zones during the hunger gap).
2) Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF and Valid International have recently conducted a state-wide S3M (simple spatial samping methodology) survey in one state. For this survey we sampled the state capital seperately from the rest of the state, again using satelite imagery and dividing the town into segments and then blocks. We found that prevelance of malnutrition was significantly lower in the state capital than in the rest of the state, therefore we presented the results seperately as combining would have lead to an inaccurate overall state estimate. This survey showed that overall the rural areas of the state were more vulnerable, in addition it showed exactly which rural areas were most vulnerable. Again we did not disaggregate data within the town.

Anonymous 415

Normal user

2 Nov 2012, 06:15

Thanks mary

1, could you help me with details on how the satelitte imagery is done or who provides the images
2. please share with me the s3m report

Mara Nyawo

Nutrition Specialist / UNICEF

Normal user

4 Nov 2012, 13:04

Dear Anonymous, satelite images were downloaded from Google Earth, please send me an email to marabm138@hotmail.com, I will discuss with the owners of the report the possibility of sharing.

Tamsin Walters

en-net moderator

Forum moderator

7 Nov 2012, 12:12

From Kassahun:

Dear Moderator,
It is true that the nutritional status of urban areas especially slums in big cities like Addis Ababa is declining.From my personal observation and agreed by many of my friends there are significant number of people in slum areas who are not in a position to cover at least their single meal per day.Some may go for begging or search for left over food in hotels,bars and restaurants.The root cause is urban poverty and escalating of food prices.The urban areas are always in serious problem in terms of malnutrition because more emphasis has been given to the rural part where the majority of the people live.
Regards
Kassahun

Anonymous 1723

Normal user

12 Nov 2012, 07:44

I have done a study on urban food insecurity in Zimbabwe and I would agree that most research and food aid has focused on rural areas and yet urban areas do not always provide the best of opportunities. Many of the households l interviewed were food insecure and their diet was reliant on what was available and affordable at that time so households go for days just having mealie porridge once a day which contributed to malnutrition.

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