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Centre for Global Child Health

Health Assessment of School-aged Children of Matiari (HAnSOM): A Prospective Longitudinal Cohort in Rural Pakistan.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Zulfiqar A.Bhutta, Inaugural Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and the Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, Dr. Sajid Bashir Soofi, Associate Professor, Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University. 

This study aims to gain a better understanding of the health of school-aged children in District Matiari (rural context of Pakistan); specifically, health outcomes and health behaviours.

In developing countries where malnutrition is more prevalent, adolescent health outcomes due to malnutrition have been neglected as a subject of research and interventions. In this study, we will examine growth patterns of school-aged children between the ages 9 to 15 years in the rural district of Matiari, Pakistan. The main nutritional indicators included will be underweight, short stature or stunting, overweight, and obesity. Anthropometric measurements along with maturation and hemoglobin status will be evaluated in all participants. In a sub-set, we will also evaluate biological markers for nutritional status including: serum ferritin, retinol, vitamin D, serum transferrin receptor, hepciden, α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Beyond physical development and sexual maturation and exploration, adolescence generally involves the formative processes of identity, morality, and socialization. Moreover, adolescence is a time for the increase of cognitive capacities of abstract, critical, and logical thinking, and metacognition, the acquisition of skills and proficiencies needed for adulthood, and establishing the appropriate balance between individualism and interdependence. Accordingly, we will be also assessing resilience and life skills development in this cohort.

Project collaborators include Aga Khan University. 

Supported by: Aga Khan University.