Project Lead(s): Susan Whiting
Fluorosis is a major health problem in the Rift Valley region of Ethiopia. Fluorosis symptoms include GI discomfort, muscle weakness, and joint stiffness and pain.
The risk of Fluorosis may be reduced by adequate calcium intake, however the dietary intake of calcium is quite low in Ethiopia.
Compounding the issue of fluorosis is the high rate of wasting and stunting among children across the nation. It has been suggested that eating one egg per day would significantly improve the nutritional status of kids.
The project aimed to decrease the rate of fluorosis in Ethiopia by providing women of child-bearing age with cleaned and powdered eggshell to increase their calcium intake.
39 women in the Halaba region received 1000 mg of calcium per day for 6 months, while 39 women were controls. Both areas had high fluoride exposure, with baseline urinary fluoride was 10.2 mg/L, well over the World Health Organization limit of 1.5 mg/L.
143 families within the intervention area were gifted 2 chickens as well as cages to protect children and prevent fecal matter contamination. A similar number of families in another village were set as a control group.
The project evaluated the signs of fluorosis in women and the growth status of children.
The study found both women and children in the intervention groups improved their health and nutritional status.
Women in the target group exhibited fewer symptoms of fluorosis, reporting less GI problems, less muscle weakness and a decrease in joint stiffness and pain.
Children improved their nutritional status by consistently consuming eggs. Children in the intervention group had lower rates of anemia than the control group. The study also found a reduction in the percentage of underweight and stunted children in the intervention group.