Cochrane Nutrition Field established under leadership of Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Stellenbosch University and Cochrane SA

Cochrane Nutrition logo


Cochrane Nutrition Field established in South Africa

The vision of the CNF is that Cochrane will be the independent, globally recognised go-to place for nutrition systematic reviews

Cochrane is delighted to announce that a Cochrane Nutrition Field has been established under the leadership of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Cochrane South Africa, the South African Medical Research Council,  along with international partners.

The field will be led by Co-Directors Celeste Naude of the CEBHC and Solange Durão of Cochrane SA, with guidance from an international advisory board comprising representatives from multiple stakeholder and partner groups.

“The vision of Cochrane Nutrition is that Cochrane will be the independent, globally recognised go-to place for nutrition systematic reviews,” said Solange Durão. “Cochrane Nutrition will support and enable evidence-informed decision-making for nutrition policy and practice by advancing the production and use of high-quality, globally relevant nutrition-related Cochrane reviews,” she continued.

The objectives of Cochrane Nutrition will include:

  1. to increase the coverage, quality and relevance of Cochrane nutrition reviews;
  2. to increase the impact of Cochrane nutrition reviews across all stakeholders; and,
  3. to contribute to strengthening methods for conducting Cochrane nutrition-related systematic reviews.

A Cochrane Field is responsible for disseminating evidence related to the field’s topic area, building relationships with relevant stakeholders within and outside of Cochrane, coordinating methods research for conducting reviews, and supporting authors of relevant reviews, among other activities. The topic area usually focuses on a cross-cutting dimension of healthcare not specific to a certain body system or healthcare condition.

“The decision to create Cochrane Nutrition was based on research conducted by Cochrane SA and the CEBHC assessing the scope and quality of Cochrane nutrition reviews which found that these reviews are produced by a large number of Cochrane Review Groups without consistent guidance on how to deal with methodological and reporting challenges specific to nutrition reviews,” said Jimmy Volmink, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. “The research also indicated a gap in currently available Cochrane Reviews addressing upstream public health nutrition problems.”

“Cochrane Nutrition will aim to coordinate activities related to nutrition reviews within Cochrane; to ensure that priority nutrition reviews are conducted with rigorous methodological approaches; and, to promote the use of evidence from nutrition systematic reviews to inform healthcare decision-making,” said Celeste Naude.

“An exploratory meeting with interested stakeholders held in Cape Town in 2015 established that there is broad-based support for such a field from both Cochrane and external stakeholders,” she continued.

About the Co-directors

Celeste Naude is a senior researcher and registered dietitian at the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Stellenbosch University. Dr Naude holds a PhD (Nutritional Sciences), a Masters in Nutrition and a BSc in Dietetics, and is a registered dietitian in South Africa and the United Kingdom. She is a member of author teams for systematic reviews and evidence summaries addressing relevant research questions in nutrition and health, and collaborates with African and international research networks via the Effective Health Care Research Consortium.  Her interests include public-health nutrition, evidence synthesis and knowledge translation to promote uptake of best evidence in policy and practice. She serves on the South African Ministerial Committee on Mortality and Morbidity in Children, the working group for the National Obesity Strategy, the Technical Reference Group on Healthy Eating (Western Cape Government) and the Cochrane Fields Executive Committee. She is an Associate Editor of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Group, and an invited member of the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa. She has co-authored papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and textbook chapters, disseminated research findings at international and national congresses, and been an invited speaker at scientific meetings.

Solange Durão is a senior scientist at Cochrane SA. She completed her Masters in Public Health (specialising in epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town and her BSc Dietetics at the University of the Western Cape. Her research interests include public-health nutrition and ensuring nutrition-related policies and practices that are based on systematic reviews of the best-available evidence. She is currently working on Cochrane reviews addressing access to food, screening for type-2 diabetes, and micronutrient supplementation in HIV-infected adults, among other nutrition-related research projects. She collaborates actively with national and international researchers and research networks in methods research about nutrition systematic reviews and in developing and implementing relevant research for the African continent. She is an invited member of the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa and of the WHO guidelines development group for nutrition actions 2016-2018.  She is also involved in capacity building activities and networks to increase and improve the conduct and use of systematic reviews, and promoting evidence-based practice, on the African continent.

Contact details:

Solange Durão: +27 21 938 0506,

Celeste Naude: +27 21 938 9886,