Publications by authors named "Aubrey Bauck"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Gender intersections identified whilst transitioning mass vitamin A supplementation into an integrated reproductive and child health programme in Sierra Leone.

Health Policy Plan 2021 Jun;36(5):673-683

Helen Keller International - Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya.

Since 2006, Sierra Leone has achieved high rates of vitamin A supplementation (VAS) coverage (>88%) during mass campaigns. In 2017, campaigns started transitioning to routine VAS within a six-monthly contact point for integrated reproductive and child health (RCH) services. This contact point included improved counselling and provision of modern contraceptives; throughout this transition high VAS coverage (>85%) has been maintained. VAS programmes have traditionally operated on the assumption that they are gender-neutral, but recent research suggests these programmes should re-examine how they interact with gender. This qualitative study examined intersections between gender and Sierra Leone's integrated VAS programming by conducting 32 individual interviews with parents, district health management and national staff, and six focus group discussions with health workers and community health workers (CHWs) in three pilot program districts. The study found that most senior health positions are held by males, and the lower cadres of majority female health workers often felt unsupported/disrespected by their male superiors and male CHW supervisees, or that their years of experience were overlooked in favour of the academic qualifications of less experienced male colleagues. Gender was not included in program training, and most staff did not have a good understanding of gender intersections; however, health workers actively engaged in awareness raising with male stakeholders to increase male involvement in RCH. Routine delivery requires mothers to invest time and money to access health facilities, where most mothers felt that better qualified staff were able to offer better advice and more services. Health workers felt that outreach services utilizing CHWs could decrease this time/money burden; however, CHWs are unqualified to provide counselling and provision of modern contraception, and there are fewer female CHWs. Records kept in health facilities record VAS by sex, but monthly reports submitted to the district and onwards to the national Health Management Information System are not disaggregated by sex. Programme and policymakers should consider improving the representation by females in senior, decision-making positions, integrating gender information into all trainings, supporting female health workers, training and recruiting more female CHWs, and reporting VAS coverage by sex.
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June 2021

La Niña weather impacts dietary patterns and dietary diversity among children in the Peruvian Amazon.

Public Health Nutr 2021 Aug 27;24(11):3477-3487. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of International Health, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD21205, USA.

Objective: In 2011-2012, severe El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions (La Niña) led to massive flooding and temporarily displacement in the Peruvian Amazon. Our aims were to examine the impact of this ENSO exposure on child diets, in particular: (1) frequency of food consumption patterns, (2) the amount of food consumed (g/d), (3) dietary diversity (DD), (4) consumption of donated foods, among children aged 9-36 months living in the outskirts of City of Iquitos in the Amazonian Peru.

Design: This was a longitudinal study that used quantitative 24-h recall dietary data collection from children aged 9-36 months from 2010 to 2014 as part of the MAL-ED birth cohort study.

Setting: Iquitos, Loreto, Peru.

Participants: Two hundred and fifty-two mother-child dyads.

Results: The frequency of grains, rice, dairy and sugar in meals reduced by 5-7 %, while the frequency of plantain in meals increased by 24 % after adjusting for covariates. ENSO exposure reduced girl's intake of plantains and sugar. Despite seasonal fluctuations in the availability of fruits, vegetables and fish, DD remained constant across seasons and as children aged. However, DD was significantly reduced under moderate La Niña conditions by 0·32 (P < 0·05) food groups. Adaptive social strategies such as consumption of donated foods were significantly higher among households with girls.

Conclusions: This is the first empirical study to show differential effect of the ENSO on the dietary patterns of children, highlighting differences by gender. Public health nutrition programmes should be climate- and gender-sensitive in their efforts to safeguard the diets of vulnerable populations.
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August 2021

Gender Equity and Vitamin A Supplementation: Moving Beyond Equal Coverage.

Food Nutr Bull 2020 03 17;41(1):38-49. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Africa Regional Office, Helen Keller International, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) is currently implemented in over 80 countries worldwide, but little attention has been paid to gender equity in the design or implementation of these programs.

Objective: This article describes the ways in which gender equity can impact or be impacted by VAS programs and suggests ways to ensure these programs better support gender equity in the future.

Methods: We undertook a desk review of research on gender equity in health services and extrapolated findings to VAS, highlighting gender equity issues throughout the VAS implementation process and across delivery platform types. We also amassed secondary data on VAS coverage from 45 surveys in 13 countries and analyzed it to examine differences in VAS coverage between boys and girls.

Results: Despite few significant differences in coverage between boys and girls, we identify numerous ways in which gender equity can impact or be impacted by VAS programs, including through the choice of VAS distributors and the communication materials used to promote VAS campaigns. Examining these different entry points reveals that there are several missed opportunities for better integration of gender within VAS.

Conclusions: VAS program implementers and policymakers should revisit VAS approaches to identify opportunities for advancing gender equity through this wide-reaching platform.
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March 2020

Intestinal permeability and inflammation mediate the association between nutrient density of complementary foods and biochemical measures of micronutrient status in young children: results from the MAL-ED study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 10;110(4):1015-1025

Department of International Health, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) is thought to increase the risk of micronutrient deficiencies, but few studies adjust for dietary intakes and systemic inflammation.

Objective: We tested whether EED is associated with micronutrient deficiency risk independent of diet and systemic inflammation, and whether it mediates the relation between intake and micronutrient status.

Methods: Using data from 1283 children in the MAL-ED (Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health) birth cohort we evaluated the risk of anemia, low retinol, zinc, and ferritin, and high transferrin receptor (TfR) at 15 mo. We characterized gut inflammation and permeability by myeloperoxidase (MPO), neopterin (NEO), and α-1-antitrypsin (AAT) concentrations from asymptomatic fecal samples averaged from 9 to 15 mo, and averaged the lactulose:mannitol ratio z-score (LMZ) at 9 and 15 mo. Nutrient intakes from complementary foods were quantified monthly from 9 to 15 mo and densities were averaged for analyses. α-1-Acid glycoprotein at 15 mo characterized systemic inflammation. Relations between variables were modeled using a Bayesian network.

Results: A greater risk of anemia was associated with LMZ [1.15 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.31)] and MPO [1.16 (1.01, 1.34)]. A greater risk of low ferritin was associated with AAT [1.19 (1.03, 1.37)] and NEO [1.22 (1.04, 1.44)]. A greater risk of low retinol was associated with LMZ [1.24 (1.08, 1.45)]. However, MPO was associated with a lower risk of high transferrin receptor [0.86 (0.74, 0.98)], NEO with a lower risk of low retinol [0.75 (0.62, 0.89)], and AAT with a lower risk of low plasma zinc [0.83 (0.70, 0.99)]. Greater nutrient intake densities (vitamins A and B6, calcium, protein, and zinc) were negatively associated with EED. Inverse associations between nutrient densities and micronutrient deficiency largely disappeared after adjustment for EED, suggesting that EED mediates these associations.

Conclusions: EED is independently associated with an increased risk of low ferritin, low retinol, and anemia. Greater nutrient density from complementary foods may reduce EED, and the control of micronutrient deficiencies may require control of EED.
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October 2019