Workshop on The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Moving Towards Early Implementation in Africa
The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) paradigm provides us with a new and exciting way to think about causation of illness while at the same time providing us with (mostly) population-level instruments for avoiding harm and promoting health. Many of the negative consequences of early childhood insults (during the first 1,000 days, including pregnancy, and even around conception) are related to chronic non-communicable diseases in later life (including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and mental health issues). Thinking about improving the lives of babies also helps us to think about what we can do to improve and save the lives of mothers, especially during the perinatal period: gestational diabetes and maternal nutrition are apt examples of where interventions may have a positive impact on both infants and their mothers.
At the same time the recently announced Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide us with an opportunity and energy, including potential financing, to do something more concrete and faster in relation to implementing some of the actionable outcomes of DOHaD research in Africa and beyond.
This DOHaD project is organized under the Health in Transition strategic theme at STIAS. We have this year a number of Fellows and Visiting Scholars who are in residence and working on DOHaD issues at STIAS during September 2016. This workshop will kick off a multi-year project. For the workshop we have invited experts from East, North, West and Southern Africa, and from other countries, who will review where DOHaD studies are today, help identify short and long term research questions, and think through advocacy programmes. We will discuss partnerships that can be undertaken, led, or energized by future DOHaD-oriented Fellows of STIAS and their colleagues.
Among other objectives for the workshop, we hope to identify mentors for young DOHaD scientists, discuss potential research funding sources, help build a network of young scientists working in DOHaD and related fields, and begin building an African chapter of the DOHaD Society. In the long run, through applying the DOHaD concept, we aim to improve the lives of people in Africa and beyond by increasing awareness, changing behavior, impacting policy and law, and improving public (and individual) health.
We are keen that our work will include evaluation of evidence for both pilot-level interventions and when these are scaled up to programmes that are widely rolled out.
The final programme, including list of participants, is available here: [download id=”4654″].
Healthy mothers, healthy babies – understanding the developmental origins of health and disease
Optimising breastfeeding in Africa