Host organisation: Jimma University, Ethiopia

Project title: Supporting breastfeeding for improved growth in malnourished infants - Novel approaches to assessing body composition and breastfeeding status of acutely malnourished infants aged below 6 months

Dr Martha Mwangome is an African scientist with a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). "I am currently working as a post-doctoral scientist at the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya. I have 10 years of experience in public health nutrition research in Africa with a focus on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of undernutrition in early infancy."

AREF Fellowship research project:

At Jimma University (Ethiopia), Dr Mwangome worked with Professor Tsinuel Girma (Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health) to gain practical experience in the use of various up-to-date methods to assess the body composition of infants. For example, at University College London’s Institute of Child Health, Professor Jonathan Wells (Professor of Anthropology and Paediatric Nutrition) showed Dr Mwangome how to analyse urine samples using a sophisticated mass spectrometer and to interpret the outputs. By incorporating these body composition measures into her research design, she expects her future research to have much more interest and impact.