Published on 29/01/2020

Partnership for Sustainable Food for Health and Nutrition

The University of Exeter in England, in partnership with ENDA Santé and the Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, held on 29 and 30 January 2020, a workshop on sustainable food for health and nutrition in Senegal.

Indeed, underdeveloped and developing countries face a double phenomenon of malnutrition. These countries have problems of undernutrition, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies; and many diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.  

The causes of this double burden are multiple: food and nutrition insecurity, urbanisation, population growth, climate change, the rapid transformation of food production systems, as well as the loss of traditional food knowledge and practices, profound changes in consumption patterns due to shifts in consumer preferences, but also the existence of a simplified diet, poorly diversified, and poor in micronutrients   

All these issues are part of the concept of nutritional transition and the solutions proposed, such as the "global diet" developed by the EAT-Lancet Commission in 2019, often originate in the North and are sometimes poorly adapted to African realities and aspirations.

"Sustainable food must be contextual, culturally acceptable, economically accessible and ecologically sustainable," according to Professor Ismael Thiam, a teacher-researcher at the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis.

Thus, the partnership will define how to create interventions, communication strategies and community engagements, in a Co-construction process well anchored in the priorities, values and food practices of the most vulnerable communities in Senegal. The objectives of the workshop were to  

  • To facilitate the exchange of ideas between researchers, NGO actors and health workers 
  • Identify levers of change to contribute to the transformation of food policy in Senegal 
  • To plan future cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary collaborations 

The meeting brought together nutrition specialists from ENDA Santé, researchers from Senegal's public universities, community actors and health workers.  

The partnership plans to expand by involving civil society, parliamentarians, the media, the research and training community, to create an open platform for exchange between the main actors.