Monthly Archives: June 2024

Climate and Health

Dr. Taye Gari and his colleagues from Hawassa and Addis Ababa University conducted a cohort study in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, a region known for its vulnerability to drought. Their findings are particularly relevant to this context.

Climate variability, crop production, and household food security could be causally linked to women’s nutritional status, suggesting that rural people depending on rain-fed subsidence farming for crop production are vulnerable to the impact of climate variability. Government interventions such as education, membership in health insurance, and safety net programs could help mitigate the effect of climate variability. Furthermore, mitigating climate variability through improving household food security, wealth status, and educational status could reduce the stress of climate variability in the affected populations.

Taye Gari, Bethlehem Mezgebe, Mehretu Belayneh, Yonas Mersha, Bernt Lindtjorn. Effect of climate variability, crop production, and household food insecurity on malnutrition among women: A mediation analysis from a drought-prone area in Southern Ethiopia. 2024. EarthArXiv. DOI: 10.31223/X56Q6S

New PhD at Hawassa University

On April 23, 2024, Zelalem Tenaw defended his PhD thesis at Hawassa University titled “Reproductive Health Service Utilization and Burden of Problems among Women with Disabilities in Sidama Region, Ethiopia”.

His PhD thesis and publications can be downloaded here.

This study aimed to assess the utilization of reproductive health services and the burden of reproductive health problems among women with disabilities in the Sidama Region in Ethiopia. It used a cross-sectional study design of 652 women with disabilities. Two-thirds had recently experienced an unintended pregnancy, and 60% of reproductive-age females with disabilities reported sexual violence experience. Only 27 % were current contraceptive users, and transport accessibility, age, and types of disability determined their contraceptive use. Also, age, residency, income, parity, alcohol use, and sexual information were the risk factors. It is essential to implement strategies for raising contraceptive awareness and incorporating at-home contraceptive provision into the health extension programs.

Zelalem Tenaw earned his BSc in midwifery at Hawassa University and a Master’s in Maternity and reproductive health at Addis Ababa University in 2015. He is an assistant professor at Hawassa University.

Zelalem’s achievement is the first PhD in Public Health at Hawassa University, a testament to his dedication and the university’s commitment to advancing knowledge in this field. This is a significant achievement at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Zelalem is the first to enroll and complete his doctoral work as a “pure Hawassa PhD graduate.” Students before him were also attached to other universities.

The Senuph project aims to strengthen the College of Health Sciences to run good PhD programs. In the case of Zelalem Tenaw, both his supervisors are attached to the Senuph project, and the Senuph program has participated in giving PhD courses at the institution. We are now looking forward to more PhD graduates completing their Ph.D.

Progress of Senuph project

During the last two weeks of May, the Senuph PhD and master’s students, supervisors, and coordinators from Ethiopia and Norway met in Arba Minch and Hawassa.

The pictures show the research gatherings; the upper picture is from Arba Minch, and the lower is from Hawassa University.  (Photo: Prof Ingunn Marie S. Engebretsen).

We delved into the progress of the research components in research seminars, group discussions, and individual meetings. I’m pleased to report that our research is making significant strides forward, filling us with optimism for the future.

In addition, we started to work to strengthen the possibility of doing various kinds of mathematical modelling, especially by investigating the possible causal links between climate variability and infectious diseases or malnutrition. We hope such work will broaden our scope by including interdisciplinary teams in meteorology, environmental sciences, biology, and epidemiology.