A Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Research Project in Bangladesh: JiVitA Brochure (pdf)
A basic goal of the JiVitA Project Site is to inform, guide and motivate policies by identifying effective and low-cost nutrition interventions that can improve health and survival of mothers, infants and children in rural Bangladesh, and more generally across rural South Asia where undernutrition, infectious disease and mortality remain unacceptably high and health services inadequate. JiVitA focuses on testing approaches that can safeguard pregnancy by reducing risks of miscarriage, still birth, preterm birth, small birth size and maternal morbidity, including obstetric complications. The project also seeks to reduce neonatal and post-neonatal infant mortality, infectious illnesses and to improve child development.
JiVitA Study Area
The JiVitA Project is located in a densely populated agrarian area in the northern districts of Gaibandha and Rangpur, just west of the Tista River and east of the main highway linking Rangpur with Dhaka. The area was selected as the project site based on its comparability to rural Bangladesh and more broadly, South Asia. The area is home to a population of ~650,000 people living in 196 mauzas of 19 rural unions that cover an overall area of ~450 sq km, yielding a population density of over 1000 persons per sq km. The area is generally comparable to rural Bangladesh with respect to levels of maternal and child nutrition, health, socio-economic status and utilization of health-care services.
Features of the Project / Study site
The study area was mapped to number, identify and locate the co-ordinates of over 160,000 households and over 90,000 landmarks of potential public health relevance (e.g. ponds, tubewells, markets, schools, and health care providers).
Based on household maps, the study area was divided into nearly 600 household "clusters" that serve as units of randomization (and work assignments) for the field intervention trials.
Households and geographical landmarks are routinely updated with a global positioning system (GPS) creating a geographic information system (GIS) to enhance logistics, supervision and enable geospatial epidemiological analyses.
The project has over 850 trained staff, about 90% of whom are local women. Project staff have 10 years of technical, logistical, administrative and professional experience in the conduct of field trials.
The project infrastructure consists of 70 field offices, a bio-specimen processing laboratory and field headquarters in Gaibandha town, the technical office in Rangpur city where the GIS, data management and storage facilities are located.
The project has a state-of-the-art data management center capable of checking, entering and storing up to 20,000 records each week. Over 5 million forms are archived under standard protocols of confidentiality in climate-controlled dehumidified conditions.
More information about JiVitA intervention trials