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Research consortium for school health and nutrition: Launch

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In January 2020, almost one in every two primary school children worldwide received a meal every day at school. By April 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in roughly 370 million children missing out on what had often been their only dependable meal of the day.

Considering this, in May 2021, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in conjunction with a group of member states and partners and financed by the World Food Programme and Dubai Cares, launched a global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition1. The consortium aims to help countries to re-establish, increase and improve school health and nutrition programmes, providing a safety net for children, creating human capital and promoting economic development. Through the development of a 10-year independent research strategy, the research consortium will address and share strategic research for evidence-based decision-making on school health and nutrition.

At the high-level, public launch, prominent figures within the field spoke on the coalition’s action goals and highlighted how these would be supported by the consortium’s identified research priorities. Professor Baron Peter Piot, LSHTM Director and keynote speaker, chaired an initial policy-focused discussion prior to a presentation of the Global Research Consortium being delivered. Professor Anne Mills, LSHTM Deputy Director and Provost, then chaired a discussion on three topics of interest: ‘The Importance of Data Quality in Decision Making’, ‘The Importance of a Multi-Sectoral Approach to Research’ and ‘The Role of School-Based Programmes’.

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Research consortium for school health and nutrition: Launch. Field Exchange 66, November 2021. p5. www.ennonline.net/fex/66/researchconsortiumschoolhealthnutritionlaunch

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