In a recent article in Nature Medicine, Rajiv Shah answered some essential questions about where USAID is going and how he will get them there. He is an innovative leader that will hopefully take USAID in a new exciting direction. They are already putting nutrition back on the map and in ways that I think make sound sense.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
Given your background in agriculture, how do you see food security and nutrition as key elements to tackling disease?
We know the links are very strong—actually, the links are strong in both directions. People who have better nutrition are less likely to be suffering from mortality or morbidity related to diseases. In fact, up to 65% of child mortality is caused by kids not having the nutrition to mount an effective immune response and to protect themselves from infections and other preventable diseases. So, we know that if we can get better micronutrients and get better total nutrition into kids in particular, we know that we can save many, many, many lives, and we know that we can do that in a more cost-effective way. Similarly, we know having healthier populations can contribute to food production and improved economic outcomes that then lead to improved nutrition. So it works in both directions, and we’re committed to making that link a productive one.