Babies & Livestock

Preventing Fecal Exposure and Environmental Enteropathy in rural Zambia
Zambian Village

In Zambia, about 40% of babies do not grow to their full genetic potential due to a combination of environmental and nutritional challenges, many of which result in chronic stunting and anemia. Malnourished children usually suffer from environmental enteropathy—damage to the intestines caused by chronic exposure to bacterial pathogens from livestock feces in the household yard. However, traditional water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions (such as latrines or hand-washing) protect adults from bacterial exposure but do not address exposure for young children and corralling household livestock is culturally and economically unacceptable.

The One Health project team from Cornell, CARE USA, and CARE Zambia researched and created context-specific education/behavior change communications strategy and materials for preventing environmental enteropathy in infants and toddlers in rural Zambia. The “One Health for Babies and Livestock” project aimed to protect children’s growth and development while maintaining the benefits that small livestock provide for rural farming families.

People: Brie Reid, Rebecca Stoltzfus.

Funded by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.


Reid B, J Orgle, K Roy, C Pongolani, M Chileshe, & R Stoltzfus. 2018. Characterizing Potential Risks of Fecal–Oral Microbial Transmission for Infants and Young Children in Rural Zambia. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 98 (3), pp 816-823.

CARE Zambia and Cornell University. August 2015. One Health Report.