Revisiting the Evidence on Kwashiorkor Malnutrition Webinar Series

  • Date

    Friday, November 20, 2020

Event Details

Kwashiorkor malnutrition affects hundreds of thousands of children and kills tens of thousands each year. Although recognized as a unique form of malnutrition since the 1930s, its etiology is still unclear. In 1968, a group of scientists studying and treating kwashiorkor met to discuss differences between kwashiorkor and wasting, leading to the diagnostic criteria currently used in treatment and study designs. Over the past 50 years, we have learned a lot more about the progression of kwashiorkor.

Through a series of webinars, researchers and practitioners will review recent evidence related to kwashiorkor. These webinars will lead to an expert meeting to discuss and advance kwashiorkor prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

The first round of webinars will be in late September, October, and November 2020. See details below. Upcoming events are listed first, then past events.

The series is organized by Action Against Hunger UK, Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, and Wageningen University.

Upcoming Events

Webinar 3: Metabolic and biochemical characterization of kwashiorkor

Major metabolic pathways and the associated organs are all affected in cases of kwashiorkor. We will review evidence on the major metabolic and biochemical derangements known to occur in kwashiorkor, and discuss potential mechanism driving kwashiorkor aetiology.

When:     November 20, 2020 from 10 to 11:30am EST


  • Asha Badaloo: Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), University of the West Indies
  • Robert Bandsma: The Hospital for Sick Children / University of Toronto
  • James A Berkley: University of Oxford / KEMRI-Wellcome Trust
  • André Briend: University of Tampere
  • Gerard Bryan Gonzales: Wageningen University and Research
  • Thaddaeus David May: Baylor College of Medicine

The event will be moderated by Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, Head of Nutrition, Action Against Hunger UK.

Register here.

Past Events

Webinar 1:Revisiting the evidence: Characterizing and treating kwashiorkor

This first webinar discussed recent research relating to treatment, nutrition, and the biochemical mechanisms associated with kwashiorkor on September 29, 2020.

Recording is here.


  • Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, Head of Nutrition, Action Against Hunger UK
  • Merry Fitzpatrick, PhD, Senior Researcher, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Gerard Bryan Gonzales, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University
  • Moderator: André Briend, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and University of Tampere School of Medicine and Tampere University Hospital, Center for Child Health Research, Finland

Webinar 2: Overt signs of kwashiorkor: Looking at edema and beyond

Although Kwashiorkor malnutrition is diagnosed by bi-pedal pitting edema, it is characterized by an array of visible signs as well as metabolic disturbances.  We will consider recent research and practice related to the visible signs of kwashiorkor, beyond the apparently simple diagnostic, to improve our understanding of the syndrome and its treatment.

When:     Monday, October 26, 2020


  • Merry Fitzpatrick, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Sofine Heilskov, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Kirrily de Polnay, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Regina Keith, University of Westminster
  • Moderator: Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, Action Against Hunger UK

Watch the recording here.

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