Despite economic progress, child malnutrition is still a major problem in Rwanda with 44% of children aged 0-23 months being stunted (i.e. inadequate height-for-age). Although stunting has been a topic of major public health concern in Rwanda, its multi-dimensional character has not been well identified and documented.
The overall aim of the GORILLA study is to investigate the biological and environmental determinants of child growth comprehensively in a poor resource rural setting of Rwanda. It is a longitudinal observational study including babies and their mothers (n=180) from birth with follow up measurements up till 2 years of age. Data collection comprises birth weight, breast feeding and complementary feeding practices, breast milk intake, maternal and household related factors, socio-cultural factors, hygienic conditions, morbidity, micronutrient deficiencies, and (epi)genetics. Observed data will be associated to growth patterns for identification of infant and young child feeding habits that promote healthy growth, as well as for discovery of new pathways, signalling routes and biomarkers that can facilitate early detection of risk for stunting.