Applied Human Nutrition

Introduction

Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2005 have revealed that 46 % of under-five children are stunted, while 38.4 % and 10.5 % are underweight and wasted respectively. The state of the world’s children published by UNICEF (2003) reports only two countries in the world have a higher rate of stunting than Ethiopia. Currently, protein energy malnutrition is also among the top three causes of under five mortality in Ethiopia. Different studies also show that micronutrient deficiencies like iron deficiency anemia, iodine and vitamin A deficiency are also very common in Ethiopia, especially very young children and women of reproductive age.     

Tackling the above mentioned problems requires expertise in the field of Applied Human Nutrition. Thus, School of Chemical and Food Engineering in Bahir Dar University (BDU) has started BSc program in Applied Human Nutrition in 2012/13. These programs are offered  in Hawassa University and Bahir Dar University. However, both curricula needed to be revised to have standard programs. For that reason, the School collaborates and works with Higher Education Network for Applied Human Nutrition between Eastern African and Europe (HENNA) project.

 As a result, the SCFE with collaboration of HENNA project members has developed a harmonized curriculum that will contribute to address the nutritional problems of our country.

Background

 Malnutrition is a reality for many impoverished families in East Africa. Although chronic poverty and drought contribute to malnutrition, dramatic improvements could be made by having highly trained professionals in nutrition who can advocate nutrition from the community to the regional and federal policy levels. In most of the East African countries, especially in Ethiopia, there are only very few nutrition professionals that makes it difficult to involve nutrition as an agenda in development projects.

The project aims to promote a network of universities in East Africa that will create harmonization of higher education programs in Applied Human Nutrition in East Africa. The rationale for this is based on the belief that such an initiative will help to foster cooperation in information exchange, harmonization of procedures and policies, focused on higher education, attainment of comparability among qualifications, and possibly the standardization of curricula, so as to facilitate professional mobility for both employment and further study. The project also aims to increase the capacity of East African countries to contribute to enhanced nutritional practices through well developed and harmonized nutrition programs, to promote the capacity of nutrition faculty members, to procure and upgrade required nutrition resources and to establish internet-based network communication.

HENNA Participating Universities

 The project is implementing through close cooperation and sharing of expertise between Justus Liebig University Giessen – Centre for international development and environmental research, Ulm University, Germany, Hawassa University and Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research School (EHNRI) in Ethiopia, Edgerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University and Nairobi University in Kenya as well as Makarare University in Uganda.

Goal of HENNA Project

  • Formation of a nutrition task force from partner Schools to facilitate and coordinate the development and harmonization of the curriculum
  • Need assessment and curriculum review
  • Capacity building
  • Procurement and upgrading of resources
  • Promoting nutritional wellbeing through educational program

This curriculum is 80 % harmonized, i.e. eighty percent similar with other collaborated Eastern Africa Universities, and contains 20 % localized courses which are core only to Bahir Dar University.

General Principles

The harmonized BSc curriculum structure is primarily aimed at guiding the undergraduate program and is based on the following principles:

  • Credit may be transferred between member universities.
  • Practical or Internship – work - integrated learning is an integral part of the curriculum and that specific career-focused competencies must be delivered.
  • Students can specialize in any of the specialized branches namely: Dietetics or Clinical Nutrition, and Community Nutrition.
  • There will be a difference within each branch and within course contents among the universities.
  • Uniqueness of each university should not be lost.
  • Names of the courses may differ between universities, as long as the course contents and the learning outcomes are similar. 

Graduate Profile

  • Upon completion of the undergraduate program Bachelor of Sciences in Applied Human Nutrition, the graduates are expected to hold various positions such as:

    · Leaders in the delivery of nutrition education programs for rural communities through the extension service or in conjunction with governmental and non-governmental organizations for community based nutrition programs,

    ·  Project coordinators and managers in governmental and non-governmental organizations,

    · As researcher in research institutions,

    ·  Nutrition counsellors,

    · Nutritionists in health care centres and hospitals,

    · Heads of disaster prevention and preparedness sectors,

    · Community nutrition development project and program coordinators,

    ·  Food security program heads,

    · Teachers in governmental and non-governmental education and training centres. 

Graduate Profile

Upon completion of the undergraduate program Bachelor of Sciences in Applied Human Nutrition, the graduates are expected to hold various positions such as:

·     Leaders in the delivery of nutrition education programs for rural communities through the extension service or in conjunction with governmental and non-governmental organizations for community based nutrition programs,

·     Project coordinators and managers in governmental and non-governmental organizations,

·     As researcher in research institutions,

·     Nutrition counsellors,

·     Nutritionists in health care centres and hospitals,

·     Heads of disaster prevention and preparedness sectors,

·     Community nutrition development project and program coordinators,

·     Food security program heads,

·     Teachers in governmental and non-governmental education and training centres.

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