At the end of January I co-organised a workshop with Enda Santé on Partnership for Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems (Àndadoo ngir lekk bu sel, in Wolof) financed by the Exeter GCRF facilitation fund. The workshop brought community health workers and people from Popenguine together with academic researchers in nutrition, pharmacy, public health, history and anthropology from three Senegalese universities to define a collaborative and engaged research agenda and future advocacy strategy on healthy and sustainable diets.
Community members had the opportunity to engage with presentations on food and traditional medicine, the history of the Senegambian diet, eating in a context of globalisation, and the impact of climate change on secure and sustainable diets in the region.
We heard from people from Popenguine who manage a community food hub where local food resources are held in common and distributed to households. The food hub has been highly effective in tackling malnutrition in the area and decreasing the community’s reliance on unpopular medical interventions for child stunting. We agreed to work in close collaboration with this highly successful, community led project to strengthen the capacity of the programme to respond to hidden hunger, micronutrient deficiency, and diet related Non Communicable Diseases, while advocating alongside the people of Popenguine for sustainable and people centred food systems.