Article Index

Mental Health, Nutritional and Socio-Cultural Aspects of Peoples Living with HIV/AIDS; the Case of Hawassa City and Yirgalem Town, South Ethiopia.

PIs: Alemayehu Toma (Ph.D.) et al., 2021

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Executive summary

Many people in the world are suffering from HIV/AIDS, especially in developing countries.  Around 39.5 million people are infected worldwide. AIDS is the cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa, and new infections are occurring dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS pandemic seriously ravaged the world for the past three decades. It left the world with full of complicated social, economic and political problems. The problem has continued as a major health problem for most developing countries, including Ethiopia. Socio-cultural practices which are predominantly determining the life of most of these peoples have structured the spread of HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to investigate how socio-cultural factors are affecting patients' adherence at ART clinics in Hawassa and Yirgalem Referral Hospitals. Qualitative and quantitative designs were used to collect the data. The findings have shown that fear of stigma and discrimination at family and community levels forced patients' affected adherence at ART clinics. People living with HIV were forced to travel a long distance to get rid of social exclusion and isolation that resulting in drug interruptions and dropouts. The findings have also shown that most of the followers of the protestant religion make them believe that HIV could be cured and boycotted them from taking ART drugs. Moreover, the confidentiality of information about HIV-positive children living with care-givers and newly tested patients was found to be resistant to start or continue their drugs. Sense of well-being elicited from long-term ART drugs effects made patients imagine complete healing thereby dropping their treatment. The findings made clear that multidimensional socio-cultural factors structure and restructure adherence problems at the ART clinics in the study Hospitals. Interventions targeting to change socio-cultural factors play crucial roles to prevent and control new infections, the occurrence of drug-resistant strains, and social and economic repercussions in society.

Key words: socio-cultural factors, adherence problems, Yirgalem and Hawassa ART clinics


Evaluation and Promotion of Triticale to Enhance Food Security and Livelihood of the Rural Community in the Highland of SNNPR

PIs: Dr. Demelash Kefeke et al

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Executive Summary

The ever-increasing world population demands a concomitant increase in food production. The increase in production should go along with environmental protection and natural resource preservation. Thus, it must come from the enhanced yield potential of the crop using production technologies rather than from expanded cultivated land. In this regard, crop diversification with improved production practices could be taken as a vital strategy in advancing productivity and improving farmers’ livelihood. Particularly, focusing on cereal crops which are the main source of nutrients for both humans and animals, would be one of the promising approaches in addressing the problem.

Triticale is one of the cereals with enormous prospective for a wide range of environments. The crop demonstrates a high yielding potential even under marginal growing conditions and could be the best alternative to enhance cereal production in such areas. Introducing triticale to the degraded and marginal areas could help to satisfy households’ nutrition needs and enhance their income. Consequently, triticale was recently introduced to Ethiopia to be cultivated as an alternative cereal in marginal wheat-growing highlands of the country. Attempts have been made to expand the production of triticale as an additional cereal in the highlands of Ethiopia; considerable gaps still exist in evaluation and promotion regarding its agro-ecological adaptation, specific agronomic requirements and mechanisms of utilization as human food and animal feed under the diverse ecological conditions of the country. This research project, with its four interlinked sub-components and a chain of objectives aimed at using a holistic approach to introduce, evaluate, identify and promote better performing triticale varieties in adaptability, yield, and grain quality in marginal highlands of two woredas of Sidama zone in SNNPR.

The first component entitled as “Adaptation and Yield Performance of Triticale (x Ttriticosecale wittmack) Varieties under Different N-fertilizer Levels” aimed to identify best performing varieties and optimum rate of N-fertilizer for maximum yield and grain quality in the targeted areas. With this, adaptation potential and yielding performance of triticale varieties were evaluated and the optimum rate of N-fertilizer for maximum yield and quality of products was determined. Practical training was given to smallholder farmers, including women-headed households, and promotion of the output was done through an agricultural extension system. Pre-scaling up demonstration trials were conducted under farmers’ fields. Training for farmers during regular farm visits and farmers’ field days was part of the project activities. Thus, triticale is well introduced and adopted in the Sidama region, especially in Arbegona and Hula districts

The second component is entitled “substitution effect of maize with triticale grain (Triticosecale WITTMACK) on growth performance, carcass components, meat compositions and quality traits of Cobb500 broiler chickens”. A study was conducted at Hawassa University Poultry farm to evaluate the substitution effect of maize with triticale grain on growth performance, feed intake, carcass components, meat composition and quality parameters of broiler chickens. Accordingly, five treatment diets were formulated with 0% (T1, control), 5% (T2), 10% (T3), 15 % (T4) and 20 % (T5) triticale grain. A total of 180 unsexed broiler chickens were weighed individually and randomly allocated to five treatments of the diet with three replicates of 12 chickens each. In such a way, experimental feeding lasted for six weeks, where feed intake and growth performance were recorded daily and every week, respectively. At the end of the feeding trial, two chickens (male and female) were selected from every replicate of the treatments, fastened overnight, weighed and slaughtered for determination of dressed carcass components. The result of the study, therefore, indicated that the average daily weight gain (g/chick/day) of broiler chickens were 23.2, 25.7, 26.3, 30.7, and 33.0 for T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 respectively, which was higher (P<0.05) for those fed on T5 diet. Feed intake (g/chick/day) was higher (P<0.05) for those of broiler chickens fed with T2, T3, T4 and T5 diets. Though, the feed conversion ratio was higher (P<0.05) for those fed with T1 and lower of T5 fed broilers. The weights of slaughter, dressed carcass, skin, breast meat, keel bone meat, drumsticks, wings, neck and liver were higher (P<0.05) for broiler chickens fed on T5. However, thighs, backbone, thorax, gizzard and heart were not affected (P>0.05) by triticale grain inclusion in the diet. Dry matter, ash, and crude protein contents of breast meat were higher (P<0.05) for broilers fed with T5. On the other hand, fat composition of the breast meat was higher (P<0.05) for broiler chickens fed on T1. Water holding capacity and cooking loss for breast meat quality were also higher (P<0.05) for broilers fed on T3, T4 and T5 diets. Male broilers had higher (P<0.05) slaughter weights, ash and fat composition, as affected by sex difference. But, female chickens had higher (P<0.05) cooking loss. Therefore, it can be concluded that the inclusion of triticale grain up to 20% had improved growth performance, feed intake, dressed carcass components, breast meat composition and quality parameters for broiler chickens. Hence, further inclusion of triticale grain in the ration of broiler chickens beyond 20% can be recommended in future studies.

The third component, entitled “formulation of flat-bread (kitta) and bread from wheat and triticale flours: analyzing nutritional, microbial and sensorial properties” aimed to formulate flat-bread (kitta) and bread from wheat and triticale variety flours in different proportions and analyze their nutritional, microbial and sensorial properties. Experiments were conducted to evaluate nutritional, microbial and sensory characteristics of flat-bread and bread, and the effects of flour ratio from triticale blended with wheat for making flat-bread and bread quality were determined. Utilization of triticale grain as a locally available food item and input in food processing industries is encouraged. Flat-bread (kitta) is the unleavened type of bread, which is used in most parts of Ethiopia. It can be prepared from wheat, sorghum, maize, and likes alone or by combining the flour of one of the above grains with another. Bread is mainly prepared from wheat flour. The objective of this project was to formulate flat-bread and bread from wheat and triticale varieties flour in different proportions. The formulated flat-bread and bread were subjected to nutritional, microbial and sensorial analysis. The flatbread and bread were prepared in the School of Nutrition, Food Science and Technology laboratory. The nutritional, microbial, and sensorial analyses were also carried out in the same laboratory. The sensory analysis showed that all the formulated bread and flat bread are accepted for all sensory attributes. The nutritional analysis showed that when the proportion of triticale increased in all the formulated products, the nutritional values are increased. The microbial analysis result showed that all the formulated products are safe for consumption for 48 hours. It can be concluded that triticale grain is a good source of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and energy. It could be better if triticale is consumed by blending with other cereals like wheat so that the color of the product would be improved.

The last component entitled as “socioeconomic and gender analysis of triticale introduction in Hula and Wondogenet Woredas” aimed in assessing socio-economic and gender issues in the introduction and evaluation of triticale for enhancing rural livelihood in Hula and Wondogenet districts. A socio-economic baseline survey was conducted in Hula and Wondogent woredas which provided information for appropriate implementation of the above three sub-components. Information related to socio-economic and gender issues was generated that helped project designing and implementing appropriate and gender-responsive.

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