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The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and Sustainable Development Goals: mapping the way forward

  • N. Kajee (a1) (a2), E. Sobngwi (a1) (a3), A. Macnab (a1) (a4) and A. S. Daar (a1) (a5)


In this paper, meant to stimulate debate, we argue that there is considerable benefit in approaching together the implementation of two seemingly separate recent developments. First, on the global development agenda, we have the United Nations General Assembly’s 2015 finalized list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Several of the SDGs are related to health. Second, the field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) has garnered enough compelling evidence demonstrating that early exposures in life affect not only future health, but that the effects of that exposure can be transmitted across generations – necessitating that we begin to focus on prevention. We argue that implementing the SDGs and DOHaD together will be beneficial in several ways; and will require attending to multiple, complex and multidisciplinary approaches as we reach the point of translating science to policy to impact. Here, we begin by providing the context for our work and making the case for a mutually reinforcing, synergistic approach to implementing SDGs and DOHaD, particularly in Africa. To do this, we initiate discussion via an early mapping of some of the overlapping considerations between SDGs and DOHaD.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor A. S. Daar, Department of Surgery, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. (Email


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The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and Sustainable Development Goals: mapping the way forward

  • N. Kajee (a1) (a2), E. Sobngwi (a1) (a3), A. Macnab (a1) (a4) and A. S. Daar (a1) (a5)


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