Climate change and Nutrition

As most of people in Ethiopia depend on subsistence economy, they are vulnerable to climatic variations. During Ethiopia’s long history, droughts and famines have occurred often. For example, during the period 1958 to 2011 some parts of the country were repeatedly affected by serious food shortages resulting in localized or widespread famines. The worst famines occurred in 1974 and 1983-85, when an estimated 250 000 and 1 million people respectively, died because of food shortage.

Climate change will disrupt weather patterns, change rainfall distribution, and increase temperatures beyond what crops can tolerate. Climate change represents a threat to food security, especially in countries on the Horn of Africa. Although severe droughts obviously may cause famines, the climate only partially explains the seeming increased vulnerability to drought among the population living in these areas.

Recently Seifu Hagos from Addis Ababa University started his PhD studies on food security and climate change. His study aims to develop statistical and mathematical models to analyse trends and forecast the impact of climate change on food security, malnutrition vulnerability, and population health in Ethiopia.

Modelling the effects of climate changes on health and nutrition of households will provide important and relevant information for policy actions.


PhD Thesis: Spatial variations in child undernutrition in Ethiopia: Implications for intervention strategies. September 16, 2016, University of Bergen.

Seifu Hagos, Torleif Lunde, Damen H Mariam, Tassew Woldehanna and Bernt Lindtjørn. Climate change, crop production and child under nutrition in Ethiopia; a longitudinal panel study. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:884doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-88

Seifu Hagos Gebreyesus, Torleif Lunde, Damen H Mariam, Tasew Woldehanna and Bernt Lindtjørn: Is the adapted Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) developed internationally to measure food insecurity valid in urban and rural households of Ethiopia? BMC Nutrition 2015, 1:2.

Seifu Hagos Gebreyesus, Damen H. Mariam, Tasew Woldehanna and Bernt Lindtjørn. Local spatial clustering of stunting and wasting among children under five years: Implications for intervention strategiesPublic Health Nutr. 2016 Jun;19(8):1417-27

Seifu Hagos Gebreyesus, Damen H Mariam, Tasew Woldehanna and Bernt Lindtjørn. Spatial heterogeneity and risk factors for stunting among children under age five: A Bayesian geo-statistical model (under review)

Lunde TM and Lindtjørn B. Cattle and climate in Africa: How climate variability has influenced national cattle holdings from 1961–2008PeerJ 2013; 1:e55 

Madebo T, Lindtjorn B, Aukrust P, Berge RK. Circulating antioxidants and lipid peroxidation products in untreated tuberculosis patients in Ethiopia. The American journal of clinical nutrition 2003; 78(1): 117-22.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T. Year-to-year and seasonal variations in stunting among preschool children in Ethiopia. Journal of health, population, and nutrition 2002; 20(4): 326-33.

Madebo T, Lindtjørn B. The impact of functional performance, HIV status, malnutrition, and clinical features on treatment \ldots. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development 2000.

Madebo T, Nysaeter G, Lindtjorn B. HIV infection and malnutrition change the clinical and radiological features of pulmonary tuberculosis. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases 1997; 29(4): 355-9.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T. Intra-household correlations of nutritional status in rural Ethiopia. International journal of epidemiology 1997; 26(1): 160-5.

Alemu T, Lindtjorn B. Nutritional assessment of two famine prone Ethiopian communities. Journal of epidemiology and community health 1997; 51(3): 278-82.

Hussain A, Lindtjorn B, Kvale G. Protein energy malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency and night blindness in Bangladeshi children. Annals of tropical paediatrics 1996; 16(4): 319-25.

Alemu T, Lindtjorn B. Growth velocity among preschool Ethiopian children. Acta paediatrica 1996; 85(5): 616-9.

Alemu T, Lindtjorn B. Physical activity, illness and nutritional status among adults in a rural Ethiopian community. International journal of epidemiology 1995; 24(5): 977-83.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T. Malnutrition among the Boran and Arsi. In: Marcus H, editor. 12th International Conference on Ethiopian Studies. East Lancing: Grover Hudson, Michigan State University; 1994.

Kloos H, Lindtjorn B. Malnutrition During Recent Famines in Ethiopia. Northeast African Studies 1994; 1(1): 121-36.

Kloos H, Lindtjorn B. Malnutrition and mortality during recent famines in Ethiopia: implications for food aid and rehabilitation. Disasters 1994; 18(2): 130-9.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T, Bjorvatn B. Nutritional status and risk of infection among Ethiopian children. Journal of tropical pediatrics 1993; 39(2): 76-82.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T, Bjorvatn B. Population growth, fertility, mortality and migration in drought prone areas in Ethiopia. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1993; 87(1): 24-8.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T, Bjorvatn B. Dietary pattern and state of nutrition among children in drought-prone areas of southern Ethiopia. Annals of tropical paediatrics 1993; 13(1): 21-32.

Kloos H, Lindtjorn B. Famine and malnutrition. In: Kloos H, Zein A, Z, eds. The Ecology of Health and Disease in Ethiopia. Boulder, San Fransisco, Oxford: Westview Press; 1993: 103-20.

Lindtjorn B, Alemu T, Bjorvatn B. Child health in arid areas of Ethiopia: longitudinal study of the morbidity in infectious diseases. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases 1992; 24(3): 369-77.

Lindtjørn B. Child health and nutrition. A study from drought prone areas in southern Ethiopia. Bergen: University of Bergen; 1991.

Lindtjorn B. Disaster epidemiology. Lancet 1991; 337(8733): 116-7.

Lindtjorn B. Risk factors for fatal diarrhoea: a case-control study of Ethiopian children. Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases 1991; 23(2): 207-11.

Lindtjørn B. The Borana Project: a newly started research project on nutrition. Annales de la Societe belge de medecine tropicale 1990; 70 Suppl 1: 42-3.

Lindtjorn B. Famine in southern Ethiopia 1985-6: population structure, nutritional state, and incidence of death among children. Bmj 1990; 301(6761): 1123-7.

Lindtjorn B. Famine in southern Ethiopia 1985-1986. Malnutrition, diarrhoea and death. Tropical and geographical medicine 1990; 42(4): 365-9.

Lindtjørn B. Health and nutrition relief guide. [Oslo]: Norwegian Church Aid; 1988.

Lindtjorn B. Famine in Ethiopia 1983-1985: kwashiorkor and marasmus in four regions. Annals of tropical paediatrics 1987; 7(1): 1-5.

Lindtjorn B. Severe measles in the Gardulla area of southwest Ethiopia. Journal of tropical pediatrics 1986; 32(5): 234-9.

Lindtjorn B. Measuring acute malnutrition: a need to redefine cut-off points for arm circumference? Lancet 1985; 2(8466): 1229-30.

Lindtjorn B. Xerophthalmia in the Gardula area of south-west Ethiopia. Ethiopian medical journal 1983; 21(3): 169-74.