Nutrition and Immunity for Infant and Child Health Workshop

Press Release

Hilleman Laboratories Workshop pr1MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories is a first-of-its-kind joint-venture partnership formed between Merck & Co., USA and Wellcome Trust, UK and focuses to develop affordable and effective vaccines for diseases that commonly affect people, especially young children. Hilleman Laboratories is dedicated for improvement of child health by developing affordable vaccine for the developing world. Hilleman Laboratories also understands and recognizes the importance of interplaying role of nutrition and immunity as the key factors along with vaccination in reducing childhood mortality and improving child health and development. We therefore aim to convene a 1.5-day workshop in Sept-2016 in New-Delhi, India, in order to provide a platform to discuss the interplay between nutrition and immunity for infant and child health.

Scope of the Workshop

Nutrition plays a critical role in health and development of a nation. Infants and young children represent the most nutritionally vulnerable stages of the life cycle. Young children pay a life-long price from the impacts of undernutrition. Improvement in nutrition status is vital for saving young lives and thereby creating an impact on the economic sustainability of a nation. The impact of nutrition is multi-faceted and often inter-related. One of the impacts that nutrition makes is on the immunity of the individual. The relationship between nutrition and immunity is two-way and has been considered as one of the major factors for growth and development of child in early formative years. This two-way relationship forms a vicious cycle wherein the activities of the immune system exert a deleterious influence on nutritional status and alterations in nutrient intake modulate the intensity of the various activities of immune system. Therefore, synergy between nutrition and immunity is of utmost importance and is responsible for better defence and quality of life of young children. This workshop scopes to address the two-way association of nutrition with immune parameters in infant and young children.

We aim to

  • Landscape and integrate role of nutrition for infant and child health
  • Review nutritional requirements of infant and child health
  • Review nutritional deficiency associated Immune disorders
  • Landscape role of nutrition in prevention of disease
  • Facilitate a forum to discuss role of nutrition in public health and discuss practical solution to public health problems

Briefly, we plan to organize a 1.5-day workshop with five key sessions covering broad topics integrating role of nutrition and immunity. This will thus provide an opportunity for the nutrition focal persons/managers to be oriented on key technical updates on child nutrition and immunity.

Below we have summarized some of the key topics that will be covered in each session.

  1. Nutritional Epidemiology for Infant and Child health
    • Epidemiological studies on nutrition
    • Importance of Nutrition in Chronic Diseases
    • Early life Nutritional influences on Immunity
  2. Nutrition for Children
    • Nutritional requirements in infants & children
    • Effects of malnutrition in children
    • Prenatal maternal nutrition
    • Intestinal Microbiota and its relationship to Nutrition
  3. Nutritional Deficiency associated Immune Disorders in infant and young children
    • Vitamin and mineral deficiency associated immune disorders
    • Malnutrition associated immune disorders
  4. Nutrition and Health for infant and young children
    • Role of Nutrition in prevention of disease (Nutrition & Immunity)
    • Environmental Enteropathy
    • Vaccines and Nutritional Health (Effect on Oral Vaccination)
  5. Public Health Nutrition
    • Nutrition Programming (Nutritional education & counselling programs)
    • Integrated approaches to address underlying risks-WASH etc.

In the first session we discuss “Nutritional Epidemiology” which is a study that deals with relationship between Nutrition and Health. In this session we first landscape the trends and determinants in infants and child nutrition in India/South Asia and discuss the importance of nutrition in chronic disease and importance of early life nutrition on immunity in infants and young children.

In the second session we will discuss the “Nutrition for Children”. Nutrition for children is essential for their good health and overall development. In this session we discuss the nutrition requirements in infants and children, prenatal maternal nutrition, Intestinal Microbiota and its relationship to Nutrition and effects in malnutrition in infants and young children.

The third session “Nutritional Deficiency associated Immune Disorders in infant and young children” will focus on the effects of poor nutrition. Poor nutrition retards physical and cognitive growth and increases susceptibility to infection and through this session we will discuss different types of nutritional deficiencies and immune disorders.

The fourth session on “Nutrition and Health for infant and young children” will focus on providing good health to young children by preventing diseases. The mechanisms by which the prevention of disease could be achieved are by effecting immunity through good nutrition or by vaccination against the disease. However, nutrition status also alters the response to vaccine and therefore, in this session we will discuss on this broad topic in conjunction with the role of environmental factors for infant and child health.

The fifth and the last session on “Public Health Nutrition” focuses on the promotion of good health through nutrition and primary prevention of nutrition related illness in infants and young children. In this session we focus on nutrition education and counselling programs for children in parallel with child health policies and implementation. Also, in this session we try to address one of the integrated issues like sanitation and hygiene which could indirectly effect infant and child health.


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