Public Defense: PhD
Candidate: Victoria Flavian Gowele
Victoria Gowele is a lecturer in the Department of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences at Sokoine University of Agriculture. She has 12 years of experience in the field of nutrition as an academician and as a researcher. She joined Sokoine University of Agriculture for PhD studies in the Department of Food Technology Nutrition and Consumer Sciences in July 2016.
Thesis Title: Determinants of Micronutrient Status in School Children Living in Rural Communities of Morogoro and Dodoma Regions, Tanzania

Supervisors:

1. Prof. Joyce Kinabo – SUA, Tanzania
2. Dr. Theresia Jumbe – SUA, Tanzania
3. Dr. Wolfgang Stuetz – University of Hohenheim, Germany

Date and Time: 19th January, 2022; 10:00 am
Venue: FQS Classroom – DFTNCS
Mode of Defence: Face-to-face and online (Zoom) LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85096639250

Panelists Team
Prof. Susan Nchimbi-Msolla (Chairperson)
Prof. Boniface Mbilinyi (Appointee of the Principal)
Prof. Joyce Kinabo (Internal examiner-Supervisor)
Dr. Kissa Kulwa (Internal examiner who did not supervise)
Dr. Safiness Msollo (Appointee of the Head of Department and the Secretary)

Summary of the Thesis
Deficiencies of iron, zinc and vitamin A in the body continue to affect the health and wellbeing of children in Tanzania; consequently, leading to retarded growth during childhood and poor cognitive development. However, information about micronutrient and nutritional status of school children in Tanzania is limited. This study determined the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency and the associated factors among pre- and primary school children living in rural households of Morogoro and Dodoma regions in Tanzania. The study revealed that school children are simultaneously affected by low energy intake, anaemia, infections such as malaria, micronutrient deficiencies, and inadequate diets. Stunting was highly associated with wasting in both districts and with vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in Chamwino. Anaemia was predicted by VAD, iron deficiency, and zinc deficiency in Chamwino and by elevated infection markers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and ?-1 glycoprotein (AGP), in Kilosa. Overall, elevated CRP and/or AGP increased the risk while higher serum carotenoids indicating a diet of more fruit and vegetables reduced the risk of VAD. Long-term nutritional deficits as reflected by high prevalence of stunting and current micronutrient status, especially vitamin A, iron and zinc, underlines the importance of targeting school children in national nutrition and health surveys for nutrition assessment and surveillance. In addition, the analysed indigenous leafy vegetables that are commonly consumed in the study area can potentially make a considerable contribution towards the requirements for nutrients, particularly vitamin A and iron, which are micronutrients of public health significance among school children in the study areas.