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Mongolian diet, health focus of collaboration

By Zhang Lei | | Updated: 2017-06-14 09:39

CloudHealth Genomics, a Shanghai-based company, and the Mongolian Health Initiative, an NGO, have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on population-based public health interventions.

The shared aim is to advance precision medicine for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of nutritional deficiencies and reducing nutrition-related diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Mongolians are traditionally nomadic people whose diet is mostly animal products, because of poor soil quality and geography. The imbalances in agriculture and the food supply, compounded by sudden changes in diet and physical activity brought about by Mongolia's recent economic growth, have contributed to unhealthy eating choices.

In recent reports, Mongolia had the highest national percentage of cardiovascular disease attributable to dietary imbalance, and the highest mortality for both genders attributable to low fruit consumption, low vegetable consumption, and low fiber consumption in the world.

Rapid urbanization and adoption of indoor occupations, has led to a rise in obesity, type II diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases. At the same time, there are widespread deficiencies of multiple micronutrients, particularly among children and women of reproductive age.

The signing is an opportunity and also part of an ongoing effort of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is to create the world's largest economic platform for economic cooperation, including policy coordination, trade and financing collaboration, and social and cultural cooperation.

"This agreement will encourage and support strategic science-driven collaboration between two neighboring countries to catalyze innovation in biomedical research in dietary, nutrition-related diseases and other diseases," said Jason Gang Jin, CEO and founder of CloudHealth, which is one of the world's fastest-growing genomics-based precision medicine and scientific wellness solution's companies. "This will evolve to the development of new cost-effective diagnostics to monitor and guide treatment of the dietary habits and associated diseases for the whole country and beyond."

"This will only help the people of Mongolia be healthier and in the mid- to long-term, provide insights and time for our country to improve existing healthcare infrastructure and how we communicate with our nomadic communities," said Uyanga Buyanjargal, executive director of Mongolian Health Initiative.

Winston Patrick Kuo, chief technology officer of CloudHealth, said, "As a scientific adviser of MHI, I really see the Belt and Road Initiative as a huge global 'big data' healthcare infrastructure opportunity for ethnic population-based cohorts studies for a variety of diseases that are not necessary connected to neighboring countries, but countries on different continents."

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