DOHaD Society of Africa

Africa is plagued by a high burden of infectious disease (over 25 million people living with HIV). In addition, with economic and nutrition transitions underway, Africa faces more and more the double burden of malnutrition (often undernutrition during pregnancy and infancy and excessive weight gain in childhood, adolescence and adulthood). This toxic combination of undernutrition and stunting in early life followed by later excess adiposity may be accelerating increases in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), in particular type-2 diabetes (T2D). Currently Africa has the greatest proportion of people who have died from T2D before age 60 years and the highest expected rise in T2D over the next decade.

As we shift to the Sustainable Development Goals, not only to ensure survival but also to promote thriving, the DOHaD research agenda can play a critical role in framing the importance of a healthy start to a brighter future. Currently, African scientists are the least represented within the International Society of DOHaD.

The DOHaD Africa Chapter aims to be an African-centric but internationally connected network determined to support the creation, communication and translation of the latest knowledge on developmental origins to improve the health and well-being of Africans. The DOHaD African chapter is committed to engage with biological, epidemiological, clinical, social and economic sciences to focus on:

  • Creating a network of scientists across Africa to engage in collaborative DOHaD science.
  • Determining how maternal and paternal health, and environmental factors during the early life (preconception-childhood) in different African settings interact with growth and development to place individuals on trajectories that impact life-long health, and learning
  • Developing strategies to prevent or reverse negative life-course outcomes so as to promote health and wellbeing, and ensuring that all Africans attain their full potential.
  • Supporting academic excellence through capacity development and providing the opportunity for younger African scientists to become global leaders within DOHaD.
  • Working with multi-sectoral stakeholders to disseminate and communicate DOHaD research.
  • Ensuring greater representation of African scientists within the International DOHaD Society

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