Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Advisor 1

Casey Huckins

Committee Member 1

Kari Henquinet

Committee Member 2

Mark Rouleau


Malnutrition continues to be an epidemic problem in sub-Saharan Africa. The degree of malnutrition depends on many factors including prevalence of bacterial and parasitic diseases especially those in water sources, level of education, level of hygienic practices, cultural customs, seasonal and climatic conditions, food production and availability, and daily food intake. This study sought to describe the prevalence of different factors’ that may be associated with health in the commune of Guiba, Burkina Faso while also examining the dietary diversity scores (DDS) among schoolchildren attending secondary school in Guiba.

Dietary diversity scores (DDS) are a measure of the number of food groups consumed by an individual. DDS serve as a proxy for nutritional adequacy. DDS was calculated from data collected using a series of related surveys over the months of October 2014 and April 2015 which asked individuals to perform a 24-hour recall of their food intake. A qualitative verbal survey was also conducted in May 2015 to determine the relation of cultural, educational, and hygienic practices to individual DDS. Production, price, and availability of different food items throughout a two year time period (August 2013 to June 2015) were described using monthly market observations at Guiba’s local market. Finally, a separate assessment of water quality surveys were performed during the end of dry season (June 2015) and at the beginning of rainy season (July 2015) to understand the prevalence of waterborne pathogens in water sources used by the schoolchildren. Water quality was tested at 10 different water sources within a five-kilometer radius of Guiba’s secondary school using 3MTM PetrifilmTM Count Plates that were analyzed to provide a measure of microbial counts.

From the findings, the mean DDS of the individual schoolchildren surveyed in Guiba was low suggesting overall poor dietary diversity. The basic diet consisted of cereals such as millet, corn, and sorghum. Socio-demographic factors, such as the education level of the mother appear to be related to DDS. Water quality tests showed that eighty percent of water sources near the secondary school in the commune of Guiba were contaminated with fecal bacteria. These descriptions of the different environmental, social, and cultural influences may be potential improvement opportunities for health intervention, including food aid, in the future.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons