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Nestlé, US varsity unveil fully funded pediatric nutrition course

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Boston University School of Medicine PediatricGastroenterologist, Dr. Carine Lenders (L) and Nestlé East Africa Managing Director Ms. Ciru Miring’u present one of the Post Graduate Diploma in Pediatric Nutrition students Ms Susan Namalwa with a Certificate for having completed the 7-month fully funded programme. The course is offered in collaboration between Nestlé Nutrition Institute and Boston University and over 30 healthcare professionals graduated in the 2017 class giving Kenya the much needed boost in the fight against child mortality.

Over 30 nurses and nutritionists from Kenya have successfully completed a seven-month Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Pediatric Nutrition (PGPN) course developed and offered in association with Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and supported by Nestlé Nutrition Institute.

Boston University and Nestlé Nutrition Institute launched the programme to help bridge the knowledge gap in pediatric nutrition as a means of addressing the rising cases of infant and maternal malnutrition in the country. This was with the realisation that proper nutrition in the first 1,000 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 Programme 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.

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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 programme, will apply the knowledge obtained in this course to not only help address some of these challenge 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 Ms Miring’u.

She, further said, “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.”

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