(CHAIN): A randomized trial to close the nutrient gap in rural Zimbabwe

The study is focused on Child health, agriculture, and integrated nutrition (CHAIN). Its overarching goal is to fill key nutrient gaps among infants in rural sub-Saharan Africa. We will use an integrated agriculture-IYCF intervention to sustainably fill the remaining nutrient gaps for young children at risk of stunting and anaemia. This approach builds on the SHINE ICYF package which reduced stunting tut did not close all the nutrient gaps. Infants will therefore receive additional foods that are nutrient rich, culturally acceptable, and locally sustainable. For the duration of the trial, these foods will be provided as dried powders which can be added to infant porridge as point-of-use fortificants. However, in parallel we will integrate and evaluate a household agriculture intervention, delivered in conjunction with CIMMYT. The aim is to ‘short-cut’ the need for families to be self-sufficient initially, by providing inputs in powdered form, while agricultural inputs will begin to provide a home-grown source of supplements during the 12-month follow-up period.

Study Location: Shurugwi District

Sample Size: 192 mother-infant pairs