Fifty paramedics drawn from Anglophone countries of Central and West Africa are meeting from 18 to 21 May 2015 at the maiden edition of the International Course in Applied Nutrition organised by the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa. The theme of the training is ‘The first 1000 days of life: Early Nutrition and long term health’.
Nestlé, a leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company, is committed to providing education programmes for good nutrition and feeding practices and help healthcare professionals to have a greater impact on the nutritional aspects of care of future generations.
According to Rizwan Yousuf, Category Manager, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Nigeria, “We are convinced that good maternal nutrition during pregnancy, followed by exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months, is the best method to ensure a good start in life. Children who receive good nutrition in their first 1000 days are ten times more likely to resist the most common life threatening childhood diseases; complete more than four more grades at school; earn 21% more wages as adults; have happier and healthier families as adults and contribute positively to the economic growth of the nation.”
The International Course in Applied Nutrition (ICAN) is an initiative of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) designed for paramedics. It is part of the institution’s training programmes that target healthcare professionals and which aim to share resources, research and training on maternal and child nutrition based on the latest scientific data.
“Ogun State government has placed high priority on the nutrition of the vulnerable group by supporting nutrition intervention programmes like the maternal newborn and child health week, the infant and young child feeding among others,” said Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Honourable Commissioner for Health, Ogun State, during the opening ceremony.
He welcomed this important course, because "improving maternal and child health can be achieved through sensitization programmes on nutrition.” He added that “the training will be cascaded down to the state and local government levels.”
The NNIA ICAN is positioned to equip paramedics with information for improved nutrition knowledge and requisite skills for proper practical application of nutrition as they take daily nutrition decisions in the course of their practice.
Given the similarities of health challenges in sub-Saharan Africa, it is expected that this pilot course in Anglophone countries of Central and West Africa will be rolled out to the Francophone countries and possibly the sub-Saharan African continent.
NNIA is part of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute, which offers educational services to healthcare professionals in 195 countries.