Western Heads East is a collaboration between Western staff, students, faculty and African partners using probiotic foods to contribute to health and sustainable development.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. Western Heads East uses a particular strain called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1. This strain was isolated in 1981 in Kingston, Ontario. GR-1 was then studied by Dr. Gregor Reid, Dr. Andrew Bruce and others to the point where it is one of the world's most documented probiotic organisms.
Largely through probiotic yogurt social enterprises, the program is established in highly underserviced areas of Sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with local NGOs, universities and medical research institutes to enhance community health, economic development and the empowerment of women Western Heads East Website