Strengthening capacity for research and knowledge in the UK and in the developing countries

About GCRF

Global Challenges Research Fund (UK Research and innovation) is a £1.5 billion fund set up  by the UK Government 2015 to strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers. In partnership with QIB, EuroFIR AISBL has organised workshops to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries, which  have been funded as part of a Medical Research Council, UK grant.

As with Western Countries, the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) also presents major public health issues associated with the increase consumption of sugar, fat and salt. Therefore, one of the policies of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) EMR is to reduce the intake of salt, sugar and fat (Saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids) to address the risk of non-communicable diseases (i.e. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer) and obesity. The objective of this MRC GCRF-funded initiative is to assess status and provide training and capacity development in the use of improved standardized methodologies for updated food composition data, used to determine health outcomes in low and middle-income countries.

There was a first a workshop in Rabat, Morocco ( 8th-10th May 2018) and follow ups in Belgrade, Serbia (18th-19th October 2018) and Ras Jebel, Tunisia (5th-8th November 2018). Paul Finglas also met with AFROFOOODS partners accross Africa at the 8th African Nutrition and Epidemiology conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, (5th-6th October 2018). The project is led by Quadram Institute Biosciences, UK,  and run in collaboration with the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Office. Partners include EuroFIR and University of East Anglia UK as well as organisations from Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Kuwait.  The main aim of the project is to assess status and provide training and capacity development in the use of improved standardized methodologies for food composition and food intake methods.

The Morocco workshop was an overview of current status and planning for what is needed to progress and was attended by 25 food composition data compilers from 10 EMR, in the use of improved standardized methodologies for food composition and food intake. Follow up workshops were specific to clusters of countries with similar types of diets (Iran/Iraq/Pakistan at the Serbia workshop, Morocco/Tunisia/Mauritania at the Tunisia workshop). Training was provided by QIB, EuroFIR and IMR (Serbia) to meet needs related to compilation of food composition data, including food description, value documentation, sources and quality of data, recipe calculation. EuroFIR attendees and contributors included Paul Finglas, Mark Roe, Angelika Mantur-Vierendeel, Maria Glibetic (and IMR colleagues during the Belgrade workshop).

Training workshops on the Standardisation of regional food composition tables in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Symposium on sustainable food systems for healthy diets in countries of Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE) with integrated training on food consumption data collection and strengthening the thematic regional networking

15-17 October 2018, Belgrade, Serbia.    

The main objectives of the symposium were raising awareness on sustainable food system approach for improving diets and nutrition. To promote better understanding of food system approach in Central and South Eastern Europe countries region, CAPNUTRA, Capacity Development in Nutrition Network in CSEE (www.capnutra.org ),in close collaboration and with support of FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (FAO http://www.fao.org/europe/en/), organized and implements a 3-day Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets in countries of Central and South Eastern Europe (CSEE) countries, with integrated training on food consumption data collection and strengthening the thematic regional networking. The symposium was attended by 42 participants from 26 countries, representing various stakeholders, government officials, research and academic institutions, EuroFIR AISBL, EFSA and specialized United Nations agencies including FAO and UNICEF (26 oral presentations; 20 posters presented). Speakers included Food composition experts, health and nutrition specialists and scientific officers who presented different thematics areas of Food Systems. Also, speakers included participants from CSEE region presented different topics related to food systems specific situation in their countries.

The final agenda is available here.

Watch the Youtube video of the Symposium

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Tags: Careers & Training, Food composition data, Workshop

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