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Organic Grain Amaranth: Inspiring Global Actions to Impact on Non-Communicable Diseases

Ndonga, L.K. (2014) Organic Grain Amaranth: Inspiring Global Actions to Impact on Non-Communicable Diseases. Paper at: IFOAM Organic World Congress 2014, Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 October 2014. [Completed]

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Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), mainly cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes represent a leading threat to human health and development. Despite impacting the poorest people in low-income parts of the world and imposing a heavy burden on social-economic development, NCD prevention is currently absent from the Millennium Development Goals-MDGs.
However, up to 80% of heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes and over a third of cancers could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors like unhealthy diets. Besides, there is growing recognition that the development of many NCDs may have their roots in the uterine environment and up to the age of five years. Indeed, ensuring optimal health of women and their children early in life is critical for the prevention of NCDs, intergeneration transmission of poverty and ill health.
Therefore, this paper will demonstrate how Strategic Poverty Alleviation Systems-SPAS has been using organic grain amaranth- a non-grass cereal and a nutritional powerhouse which is also medicinal to control NCDs and as an early intervention tool in the pre-natal and early childhood years as a cost effective means of controlling later chronic diseases, contributing to improved health and nutrition, livelihoods and ecological sustainability.
Through the Grain Amaranth Initiative for Nutrition Security (GAINS) model farmers grow amaranth for food/nutrition and incomes and surplus bought by SPAS which is integrated with other Organic Traditional Resources that are common to the Kenyan Phyto-pharmaceutical tradition to make grain amaranth based nutraceuticals for community members with NDCs. SPAS also provide health education on NCDs and other diseases, and stimulate community dialogue and promotes advocacy.
But although the model catalyzes peoples’ participation and empowerment at low cost, and provides an inspiring global action towards NCDs, the challenge presented by NCDs is of such magnitude to merit a serious policy response on organic grain amaranth. Indeed, there is need to develop a global policy framework on organic grain amaranth to feed on critical decisions on NCDs

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic Grain Amaranth, noncommunicable Diseases-NCDs, community participation
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Practitioners Track
Deposited By: Ndonga, Mr L,K
ID Code:23641
Deposited On:20 May 2015 10:18
Last Modified:20 May 2015 10:18
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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