Seasonality of malnutrition: Community knowledge on patterns and causes of undernutrition in children and women in Laisamis; Marsabit County; Kenya

Originally published
View original


This report presents findings from a community participatory study conducted to determine the seasonality of malnutrition and factors associated with malnutrition among children and women in Laisamis subcounty, Marsabit County. The study was conducted as part of the Livestock for Health (L4H) project. This project investigates the cost-effectiveness of livestock feeding and nutritional counselling during critical dry periods in reducing the risk of acute malnutrition in children below 5 years of age and in pregnant and lactating women (PLW). The L4H project is based on the observed patterns of increased acute malnutrition, associated with decreased milk consumption, among women and children in pastoralist communities. The study used a mixed methods approach to collect data from the two main communities (Rendille and Samburu) residing in Laisamis subcounty.

The aim of the study was to understand the communities’ livelihood patterns and strategies, the observed temporal patterns of acute malnutrition in children and women, the factors determining the malnutrition patterns, and communities’ perspectives on practices and programming used to minimize malnutrition in the community. The report outlines the key findings from the three data collection methods used. (key informant interviews, focus group discussions and participatory epidemiology methods) and gathering information from men and women from each of the two communities separately.