- Written by Peace Loise Mbae for KenyaKidz
Over 30 nurses and nutritionists from Kenya have successfully completed a seven-month Post-Graduate Program in Pediatric Nutrition (PGPN) course in a bid to help bridge the gap between pediatric nutrition and infant malnutrition.
The course offered in association with Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and supported by Nestlé Nutrition Institute is meant to address the rising cases of infant and maternal malnutrition in the country.
This was from the realization that proper nutrition in the first 1000 days has a profound impact on the child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive and has a lasting impact on long-term health, Pediatric nutrition is a rapidly evolving area where new scientific advances are occurring at a rapid pace.
“In order to help keep healthcare professionals up-to-date on the evolving science, Nestlé provided funding to develop a dedicated global program entitled “Post Graduate Program in Pediatric Nutrition (PGPN).” The program has been developed in partnership with MedInscribe and BUSM, a leader in medical education and research, with MedInscribe providing logistical support,” said Ciru Mirung’u, Managing Director at Nestlé East Africa.
Over 100 healthcare professionals drawn from Kenyan public and private universities have gone through the programme boosting their ability to integrate pediatric nutrition into clinical practice to help in the fight against infant mortality and malnutrition.
According to Kenya Demographic Healthy Survey 2014, 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).
“It is our hope that the healthcare professionals who have successfully gone through all the modules in this program, will apply the knowledge obtained in this course to not only help address some of these challenges but also ensure that every pregnant mother delivers a healthy baby and that the children grow healthy and strong to participate in nation building,” said Miring’u.
According to Miring’u this program offers a unique opportunity to strengthen healthcare professionals’ knowledge and practice in pediatric nutrition by familiarizing them with evidence-based guidelines and recommendations through a series of online learning modules, delivered in various formats including text, video, and audio.
The final stage of education is presented in a series of live meetings delivered in various locations worldwide.