Christina Makungu


Vulnerability aad risk exposure of school children to Malaria in Tanzania


Biography

Christina Makungu joined the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience as a Masters student in September 2009 to investigate the vulnerability ad risk exposure of school children to Malaria when parents are away from home farming in the Kilombero valley in southern Tanzania. Christina graduated in social science from the University of Dar es Salaam and previously worked at the Ifakara Health Institute as a research assistant.

Research

Little or no research has been carried out on children’s experience of taking care of themselves in rural sub Saharan Africa due to the livelihood demands on parents. The prevailing pattern of seasonal movement of parents (accompanies by pre-school children) from village centre to distant field site for farming activities results in school children (aged between 7 and 16) being left alone in villages for several months in order to attend school. In southern Tanzania, the focus of this paper, settlement patterns, ‘villagisation’ programmes and land degradation mean that farms are often located at considerable distances from village centers.

Using qualitative research methods, this study aimed to explore the effects of self care among school children while their partners are away, particularly focusing on aspects of health and well being, food security and how these inter-relate.  The specific objectives are to establish roles and responsibilities if school children in self care, in both girls and boys, to understand the health and social effects of self care in children , to identify  coping  mechanisms for food insecurity for these children and to determine the community wide perception of self care in school children.


Christina with schoolchildren in Tanzania

Schoolchildren in Tanzania
Mosquito net over bed