World Food Day 2017: Priorities for global health and well-being

16 October 2017

Reaching the SDGs…

On 25th September of 2015, the international community adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. The achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot happen without ending hunger, and without having sustainable and resilient, climate-compatible agriculture and food systems that deliver for all people in equilibrium with the planet. There is an important relationship between SDGs and food security. By working for food security, for instance, Zero Hunger by 2030 and global health and well-being, most other SDGs are indirectly addressed, too.

…by ensuring food security for all…

The right to food is a basic human right. However, food insecurity is one of the main determinants of endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases which are taking a massive toll in the World’s poorest communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. To tackle this critical issue, the research consortium Afrique One-ASPIRE incorporated foodborne diseases and nutritional illnesses into one of its five Thematic Training Programmes (TTP) and recruited 13 fellows (2 Postdocs, 7 PhD candidates and 4 Master students). The purpose of this TTP is to address the epidemiological links between food and human health including infectious and non-infectious diseases, and show how these factors will influence the effectiveness of food-borne diseases and metabolic diseases control based on risk.

…and reducing the risk factors of foodborne diseases and non-communicable diseases

The studies will demonstrate how to manage the massive usage of antibiotics, behavior and hygiene in food processing and consumption and the growing consumption of processed red meat which are some of the risk factors of foodborne diseases and non-communicable diseases.

As for antimicrobial resistance, it is important to reduce and control the use of antimicrobial in animal husbandry. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in human must also be reduced. Regarding the lack of hygiene in food processing and consumption, there is a necessity for people to improve their hygiene when producing, cooking and eating to have safe food. Lastly, the reduction of red meat intake is recommended to keep people healthy.

‘Let food be your pharmacy and not source of infection and non communiccable disease’ Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh, Director of Afrique One-ASPIRE

Afrique One-ASPIRE is funded by the Wellcome Trust, UKAID, the African Academy of Sciences and the African Union (UA) through the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). The programme wants to contribute to improving health of African populations by controlling and eliminating zoonotic diseases using a One Health–research approach. The project on foodborne diseases is led by Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS) and National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR, Tanzania).

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