Symposium: Ensuring children’s cognitive and physical development through animal source foods
Well-nourished populations, especially women and children, are the central focus of efforts to nurture development and increase resilience of vulnerable households and communities. With more than one in four of its 856 million people undernourished, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s most food-insecure region. In the six African countries where the Innovation Lab works, societies are mostly rural and up to 80% of the populations depend on livestock for their livelihoods. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems adopts an inter-disciplinary and applied research approach that sustainably increases animal-source food production and consumption to improve the nutrition and resilience of the poor, and ultimately contribute to strengthening the social and institutional capacities in these countries.
The symposium will explore the realities, implications, and impacts of chronic malnutrition, which leads to stunting or reduced height for age. It will emphasize that increased attention should be given to understanding and exploiting the benefits and minimizing risks associated with consumption of animal-source foods (ASF), i.e. meat, cheese, milk and eggs, by the vulnerable, especially children and women. It will also discuss the importance of addressing complementary factors that influence stunting such as Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH), gut health, and animal-source food contaminants like aflatoxin and food borne-pathogens.