SOURCE: Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International

November 24, 2009 12:01 ET

From A to Zinc: HKI Hailed for Innovative Programs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 24, 2009) - At two recent conferences on innovative malnutrition research organized by the Copenhagen Consensus Center, Helen Keller International's programs to reduce malnutrition were awarded first prize by government officials, NGOs, researchers and private sector representatives.

On November 3, 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, HKI's Shawn Baker, VP & Regional Director for Africa, was awarded the first prize of 25,000 Danish Kroners for groundbreaking research on his presentation: "Vitamin A supplementation for child survival in sub-Saharan Africa: successes, challenges and next steps."

Mr. Baker commented on the significant value of the conference, "This prize and conference are hugely encouraging and demonstrate the importance of working together to identify, highlight and implement effective solutions to the challenges of malnutrition."

On November 11, 2009 in New York City, HKI's Shawn Baker, along with collaborators Kenneth H. Brown, Sonja Y. Hess and Stephen A. Vosti of the University of California, Davis, were awarded first prize for their paper on "Therapeutic Zinc Supplementation."

The winning paper builds on previous research completed by the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG), showing that zinc supplementation reduces the incidence of diarrhea and pneumonia, the two major killers of children in developing countries. The current analyses examined the relative costs and likely impact of different types of public health programs for delivering supplemental zinc to young children.

Copenhagen Consensus Center director Bjørn Lomborg said, "The Copenhagen Consensus malnutrition conferences... were a huge success -- but we need to do a lot more to ensure that malnutrition interventions remain on the agenda.

"It was inspirational to see the excellent research coming from this field. It was great to be able to recognize and applaud some of those researchers, and to release research that will be of concrete help to donors, aid groups, NGOs and governments."

The Copenhagen Consensus Center ( is a think-tank based at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Its goal is to promote the use of sound economic science in public policy development. In addition to creating a forum for rewarding innovative research, the Copenhagen Consensus Center launched its series of Best Practice Papers showing how governments can concretely respond to the problems of malnutrition.

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International's (HKI) mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. HKI combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. HKI programs combat refractive error, cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and malnutrition. HKI receives support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and other national and local governments as well as from private and corporate foundations and individuals.

Contact Information

    Jennifer Klopp
    Vice President of Development and Communications
    Helen Keller International
    212-532-0544 x808
    Email Contact