Some countries in Africa have been ranked hard hit with infant and maternal malnutrition. According to a 2014 survey, the infant mortality rate is 39 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality rate is 52 deaths per 1,000 live births while 26% of children under 5 are stunted (too short for age).
Even though this marks an improvement when compared to the figures five years ago, more still needs to be done to reduce, if not eliminate infant malnutrition.
It is in light of the above statistics that, Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) sponsored the postgraduate program in pediatric nutrition (PGPN). This is a global program that has been tailored to promote high quality scientific engagement with Health Care Professionals (HCPs) by offering a collaborative educational program. The purpose of the program was to provide HCPs with practically relevant and up-to-date knowledge on pediatric nutrition that can be integrated in their clinical setting. In 2014, it was initiated as a pilot program in South Asia, successfully engaging 450 HCPs, and In 2016, it was launched globally in 63 countries across 8 regions with a total of 4479 participating HCPs.
EAR took part this year and supported the training of 40 HCPs to undergo this rigorous yet exciting 7 months journey that would change their practice exponentially. The program attempts to help improve the nutritional statistics of the African Child one step at a time. The last lap of the PGPN journey was marked with a convocation and Symposium that took place in Nairobi Kenya on 4th November 2016 and in Lusaka Zambia on 6th November, 2016 officiated by Dr. Clifford Lo an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, Boston, where participants were awarded certificates. NNIA hopes to continue building capacity to Health Care Professionals in 2017.