“It is scandalous that a product with several critical advantages and high quality scientific evidence to support it, can be blocked because of bureaucracy and vested interests”
Dr Steve Collins, Valid Nutrition’s Chairman, spoke candidly about his frustration at the shamefully slow pace of innovation and approval of better products to treat acute malnutrition. He presented the specific example of Valid Nutrition’s new recipe for therapeutic food (RUTF). This breakthrough, which follows from 14 year of research and development (largely funded by RUTF donors), has several clear benefits including: significantly lower cost, far better sustainability profile and is easier to produce in developing countries / regions where these products are needed.
He said it is scandalous that a product with high quality scientific evidence to support it, can be blocked because of bureaucracy and vested interests. He challenged those empowered to allow this recipe to be used, to act now. Doing so, will immediately lower the cost of treatment and allow hundreds of thousands more children to be treated within existing aid budgets.
At the Global Hunger Today Conference held at University College Cork, Dr Steve Collins raised challenging questions about undue delays in the implementation of robust, scientific evidence that can transform the numbers of malnourished children receiving treatment within existing budgets.
At the Global Hunger Today conference in UCC last week, Dr Steve Collins presented the results of a large-scale randomised controlled research study, demonstrating that an innovative new RUTF product made exclusively from ingredients grown in developing countries, is more effective than the currently available UN gold standard product, and around 20% lower in cost. He asked why, given the potential to treat almost an additional 1 million severely malnourished children within existing budgets, and the sustainable benefits that local manufacture of this recipe will have on developing countries’ agriculture, has the UN acceptance process so far made no progress in allowing this innovative life-saving product to be made available to those who need it? Would this scandalous waste of resources be tolerated in other sectors?
In conjunction with UCC, we recently presented the final results from a six-year analysis of Small Holder Farmers in Malawi.
The ground-breaking results from a clinical trial of a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) product made without milk or animal source protein and undertaken in Malawi in 2016, were unveiled by VALID Nutrition’s Founder, Dr Steve Collins, at the IUNS 21st International Conference on Nutrition (15th – 20th October 2017). The Soy-Maize-Sorghum (SMS) based recipe has been in development for over ten years, involving three large randomised controlled clinical trials and considerable investment from several stakeholders including Japan’s International Cooperation Agency, the Global Innovation Fund, Irish Aid and the PRANA Foundation.
Having produced 8.5 million sachets of ready-to-use therapeutic food product in 2016 (enough to treat approximately 80,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition) and after launching a new ready-to-use complementary food line in November 2016 to tackle chronic malnutrition, VALID Nutrition is now seeking grant funding to complement loan funding and expedite our move to a new state-of-the-art, purpose built manufacturing facility. This in turn will enable the expansion of local production capacity to meet both regional and local demand.
From 6th- 8th October, Ashoka Ireland hosted their 4th Annual Community Retreat. This was a gathering of Ireland’s Ashoka Fellows (including our own Dr Steve Collins), the Irish Ashoka Support Network members, advisors and the Irish Team, and was held on the grounds of Burrishoole, Co Mayo. The workshops involved an analysis of the more unique social entrepreneurial challenges facing Ashoka Fellows both in Ireland and in a global context, and put to work the collective experience of everyone in attendance.