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Open Access Illness, death, and macronutrients: Adequacy of rural Mozambican household production of macronutrients in the face of HIV/AIDS

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Background. As the public sector and civil society develop intervention programs to deal with the HIV/ AIDS epidemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on the relationship between nutrition and the disease. Drug interventions may be ineffective, and the progression from HIV infection to full-blown AIDS may be accelerated without adequate nutrition. Mozambique is still fighting an increasing prevalence rate of HIV, including in rural areas. Rural households in Mozambique rely heavily on their own agricultural production for the basic macronutrients.

Objectives. To evaluate the extent to which household agricultural production of basic staples meets overall household needs for major macronutrients, comparing households affected and not directly affected by HIV/ AIDS and other major illnesses over two time periods.

Methods. This research analyzes nationally representative panel data from rural household surveys conducted in 2002 and 2005 to evaluate whether households that have suffered the chronic illness or illness-related death of prime-age adult members (15 to 49 years of age) are more vulnerable to macronutrient gaps.

Results. Households in the South and in the North with a male illness or death in 2002 produced significantly less macronutrients from crops in 2005 than nonaffected households. These households also had significantly lower income per adult equivalent.

Conclusions. Mortality or illness from HIV/AIDS affects the ability of agricultural households dependent on own-food production to produce macronutrients. Interventions to improve access to food may be needed for affected households, particularly in light of their inability to recover over time. More analysis is needed to understand income sources, crop diversification, and access to macronutrients through the market.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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