The University of Energy and Natural Resources in collaboration with University of Otago has won a seed grant of $15,678.00 for research project effective 1st April, 2019. The research project with funding from Otago Global Institute(OGHI) intends to explore on the project entitled “Assessing the efficacy of traditional lactic fermented milk product (nunu)as a natural probiotic to promote recovery from diarrhea in children below five years of age in Ghana”.

The aim of the project would assess the efficacy and safety of indigenous Ghanaian fermented yoghurt-like milk product also called “nunu” to promote recovery from diarrhea infection, while ameliorating associated symptoms such as dehydration in sick children. The study will gather preliminary data that demonstrate the feasibility of using nunu as a prophylactic to complement rehydration therapies in controlling diarrhea.

The methodology and scope of the study will be a double blind, controlled, randomized intervention trial with children under 5 years of age(6-60months) reporting for diarrhea at the Out-Patient-Departments (OPDs, emergency rooms, and children’s wards) of the Sunyani Municipal and the Kintampo Municipal Hospitals in Ghana. A lecturer at the School of Agriculture and Technology, (UENR), and Principal Investigator, Dr. James Owusu-Kwarteng in collaboration with Dr. Dominic Agyei (Department of Food science, University of Otago) and Dr. Adam Fusheini (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago) would see to the fruition of the project.

The total grant awarded was meant to develop recipient’s track record in support for future project funding and to foster interdisciplinary research between University of Otago and build partnership with Low or Middle Income Countries(LMIC) using UENR in this case.

Dr. Owusu-Kwarteng, the co-investigator on this project will assist the team with his expertise in fermented foods production and safety and will also be in charge of preparing and formulating the test samples(nunu), checking them for microbial safety and collection of data from feeding trials. He will also ensure that the project receives ethical approval from Kintampo Health Research Centre Institutional Ethics Committee(KHRCIEC).