Ref NoGB 0809 Nutrition/01
Extent17 boxes; several maps
TitleThe Nyasaland (now Malawi) Survey 1938-1943
DescriptionThis collection of research papers stems from the Nyasaland (now Malawi) Survey of 1938-39 and the work of the Nutrition Development Unit in 1940-43. The material comprises some of the raw data taken from the original surveys; drafts of the subsequent report prepared by Dr Platt and his team; diaries written by Jessie Barker (Williamson) detailing her experiences in Nyasaland (now Malawi) during the survey; a number of background reports and surveys carried out before and after the main surveys; original maps and tables used in Nyasaland (now Malawi); material concerning the work done to compile the papers for the publication 'The Nyasaland Survey Papers 1938-1943', due to the efforts of Veronica Berry and Celia Petty.
AdminHistoryThe Nyasaland (now Malawi) survey was originally carried out over an 18 month period in the Kota Kota district of Nyasaland (modern day Malawi). Its aim was to provide an empirical basis for development planning, involving government departments of finance, administration, agriculture, health education and labour. It was the first comprehensive survey of this nature in that socio-economic factors were recognised as important in determining the nutritional status of a population. The survey was carried out by a team headed by Dr Platt of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The individuals included Miss Owen, Dr M Read, Dr HG Fitzmaurice, Mr RW Kettlewell, Miss J Barker (later Williamson) and Dr GAC Herklots. The survey produced information on agricultural practices, eating habits, economic health, anthropometry and many other variables. Arising from this research, the Nutrition Development Unit was set up in 1940 but was denied adequate funds and personnel. Dr Platt's aim for the NDU was to increase the range of foods grown and eaten by the local Nyasaland people, in order to cure the deficiency diseases that were identified in the original survey. Work by the NDU was undertaken over 3 years. Little significant change to methods of agriculture among the populations occurred, possibly because of resistance by local people to the imposition of dietary changes.

The study was never published in full until 1992 when Veronica Berry and Celia Petty used the original drafts and data to compile the work into 'The Nyasaland Survey Papers 1938-1943: Agriculture Food and Health'. Dr Platt had written drafts for a report but never completed the work.
Related Material
ArrangementRetained original order as far as possible
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