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Link NCA offers an opportunity to study drivers of concurrent wasting and stunting (WaSt)


© Lenka Blanarova, Action Against Hunger
Our learning from the Link NCA study in Liberia was published in Field Exchange 65 (May 2021)!

The article summarises how the study's original research questions revolving around stunting were extended to include analyses of concurrent wasting and stunting (WaSt). Logistic regression revealed significant associations between WaSt and younger age (<24 months) across all three regions. Further associations were apparent in one of three regions including episode(s) of diarrhoea during two weeks preceding the survey; child being taken care of by a non-immediate family member; medium to high score on reduced coping strategy index and/or caregivers’ perceived low level of social support. A child’s measles vaccination and caregiver’s perceived breastmilk sufficiency were protective factors in one region. Broader results revealed limited access to markets as the key root cause of stunting in this context.

We concluded that analyses focusing purely on stunting would not allow for the design of interventions that address risk factors for WaSt for those who are at the highest risk of mortality. Shared risk factors for both stunting and WaSt should therefore be examined using Link NCAs in contexts with high burdens of wasting and stunting to better inform programme design.

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