Post-Graduate Programme in Paediatric Nutrition in Zambia

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Zambia is amongst the countries ranked as the hardest hit with infant and maternal malnutrition. Statistics from the Zambia Demographic Health Survey 2014, 15% of Zambian children are underweight (too thin for their age) while 36% of them are stunted, (too short for their 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 these worrying statistics that Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) sponsored the postgraduate program in paediatric nutrition (PGPN).

PGPN is an educational initiative supported by the Nestlé Nutrition Institute and was brought to the participants by MedInscribe in association with the Boston University School of Medicine. The program comprised of 7 monthly online modules which were developed to provide an excellent learning experience and new practice-oriented insights into nutrition that can be integrated in the clinical setting. 

The program 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 paediatric nutrition that can be integrated in their clinical setting. It provided comprehensive, evidence-based paediatric nutrition updates on various nutritional topics including nutrition fundamentals in Pediatrics, prevention and nutritional management of cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and emerging importance of gut micro biota in paediatrics.

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.

Zambia took part this year and supported the training of 60 HCPs, who underwent the rigorous yet exciting 7 months journey that would change their practice exponentially. The PGPN journey in Zambia ended with a convocation and Symposium that took place 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.