Since 2017, I have been working in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Geography, at Queen Mary's Blizard Institute, and the Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research, Harare. The UKRI-funded research is primarily centred on improving nutrition and early childhood development amongst children living in Harare's urban and suburban areas as well as in Shurugwi District, in Zimbabwe's Midlands Province.
Research by Zvitambo between identified a prevalence rate of almost 10% for common mental disorders among women in Shurugwi District, Zimbabwe. Between 2018-2019 we trialed and evaluated the Friendship Bench model of problem-solving therapy. Normally implemented in urban settings, the findings from this intervention in rural Zimbabwe are undergoing peer review.
In collaboration with researchers based in the Zvitambo Institute, between 2018-2019 we utilized participatory assessment methods to establish a better understanding of the caring environment to which children recovering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) return after hospital treatment. This research is currently being extended and results will be reported on later in 2021.
Research is continuing in Shurugwi with CHAIN, which targets key nutrition gaps experienced by children in the early years of development. Infants enrolled on the project will receive additional foods that are nutrient rich, culturally acceptable, and locally sustainable. Field research is currently ongoing and results will be reported from the research in 2022.
This project develops multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional perspectives relating to two closely interconnected dimensions of food and nutrition security: 1) population mobility and migration, and 2) changing food cultures. The importance of these two elements is being explored through participatory workshops and field research in Shurugwi district, Zimbabwe and with the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK. Find more details here.