The Research on Environmental and Community Health (RECH) Study is designed to understand the links between the health of people and their environment. Rech means ‘fish’ in Dholuo, and belies the focus of this research on the role that fish access plays in livelihoods, food security, and the health of young children on Mfangano.
To understand the links between fish catch and people’s health and well-being, we began working with over 300 households on Mfangano and 19 Beach Management Units in December 2012. For over two years since then, we visited these households every 3 months to learn about their fishing and farming activities, fish consumption, and growth and cognitive development of their young children. At the same time, we worked with local Beach Management Units (fishery co-managers and fish landing sites) to collect daily data on fish catch, prices, and fishing effort. We are excited to be completing the data collection for this study and tremendously grateful to the Mfangano families and fishers and OHR staff who supported this effort!
This research has already informed OHR’s programming, especially the Microclinics’ Nutrition Curriculum, support for malnutrition referrals and distribution of food supplements, and developing Food Security programming. We look forward to continuing to learn from this data and expanding our services on Mfangano – as well as contributing to our broader understanding of how environmental health affects human health, around Lake Victoria and beyond.
This research study is led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Please find out more about the initial results of our work on our Publications page and look for more results coming soon! Please feel free to be in touch with Katie Fiorella (kfiorella[@]organichealthresponse.org) for more information.