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Think Locally, Act Globally: How Research from the South Helped Shape Global Child Health Policies

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Cesar Victora, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus professor of epidemiology, International Center for Equity in Health, Universidade Federal de Pelotas

Dr. Victora will give a historical view of the creation of an epidemiological research center in a remote Brazilian city in the 1980’s, aimed initially at the study of childhood infectious illnesses through birth cohort studies. As Brazil underwent the nutrition and epidemiological transition, the scope of the cohorts changed to focus on the importance of the first 1,000 days in the determination of non-communicable diseases in adulthood. His lab's early results on the importance of breastfeeding, and of early-life nutrition in general, contributed to the formulation of global and national policies throughout the world. At present, we play a leading role in monitoring country progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on the need to tackle within-country socioeconomic inequalities in maternal and child health.

Cesar G. Victora is Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, where he has worked since 1977. He has honorary appointments at Harvard, Oxford and Johns Hopkins Universities. He has conducted extensive research in maternal and child health and nutrition, birth cohort studies, inequalities in health, and on the evaluation of the impact of major global health programs in a large number of countries.  His research in the 1980s and 1990s influenced global policies that led to the recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, and he had a leading role in the construction of the World Health Organization growth standards based on breastfed children. He was a founding member of the Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health” initiative and is one of the leaders of the ongoing Countdown to 2030 initiative. In Pelotas, he coordinates the International Center for Equity in Health. He has over 700 peer-reviewed publications and is a member of the editorial boards of several journals, including The Lancet. He was President of the International Epidemiological Association (2011-14) and won the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award in 2017. He is a highly-cited researcher according to the Web of Science 2018.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785
Open to
Joel Cohen
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785

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