Tuesday 23rd October 2012, Munyoyo Commonwealth Resort, Kampala: Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) hosted a scientific conference for some 150 health care professionals in Uganda to discuss about Maternal and Child Nutrition during the first 1000 days from pregnancy, to beyond the age of two, with the latest information on various aspects of early nutrition and later health outcomes. This scientific event also marked the yearly NNIA Award ceremony that recognises African health care professionals for their contribution in the field of nutrition.
Picture (from left to Right): Dr. Sabrina BAKEERA–KITAKA, Senior Lecturer and Paediatric & Adolescent Health Specialist, Makerere University; Mrs. Agnes BAKU CHANDIA, Nutritionist from Ministry of Health; Prof. Joyce KIKAFUNDA, Agriculturist, Food Processing & Nutrition Scientist College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University; Dr. Elizabeth MADRA, acting Director of the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) and Prof. Gabriel ANABWANI, Chairperson of the NNIA scientific board.
Picture: Dr. Ngaha AUGUSTIN, NNIA Award Winner 2012 for Best Scientific Publication; Professor Joyce KIKAFUNDA, NNIA AWARD Winner 2012 in Community Nutrition
The 2012 edition of the NNIA awards in the Community Nutrition category went to Uganda’s Professor Joyce Kikafunda, Agriculturist, Food Processing and Nutrition Scientist from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Makerere University. Prof. Joyce Kikafunda has played a key role in advocating for action in addressing malnutrition in Uganda. Kikafunda developed a community-nutrition model called The Gender Integrated Nutrition and Agriculture (GINA) to show it was possible to cheaply reduce under-nutrition if programs were community based, multi-sectoral, and integrated gender as a key component, that USAID Uganda used it to design the five-year Uganda Community Connector Project (CCP). “The GINA model is very well thought and considered the key drivers of food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. The model is simple, practical, and easy to scale-up” said Prof Anabwani, the NNIA Chairman. Indeed, CCP is trying to scale it up to eighteen districts to reach over 81,000 households. The communities where Kikafunda initially implemented GINA have become learning sites for neighbouring districts. Communities still refer to her as "mama nutrition" for the splendid work she did.
The second winner was Dr. Ngaha Augustin took the reward in the best scientific publication category. Dr Augustin is a consultant paediatrician and the head of department of the Medical Division of the University Of Montages De Bangangté in Cameroon. Maternal and child nutrition is at the core of all his responsibilities where he trains and coaches the health workers on the hospital protocols on the nutritional management of low birth weight infants on the neonatal wards. Dr Augustin is being recognised for his novel publication in the field of nutrition. He recently published in the journal of Tropical health (Medicine d’Afrique Noire) a research study that investigates the “Evaluation of the supplementation of Breastmilk with pre formula in the nutrition of LBWs”. The study involved a prospective longitudinal cohort whereby the impact of fortifying breastmilk with protein, energy and minerals (through a pre formula) was evaluated on the growth patterns of low birth weight infants. 70 babies were divided into two groups with one group receiving the fortified breastmilk, and the second unfortified breastmilk. The results revealed a statistically significant higher average weight gain per day including better brachial perimeter growth; all characterised by a shorter hospital stay in the first group. To our knowledge this is the first study of its kind conducted in the African continent and furthermore it influences both clinical nutrition practices as well as encourages more research in this specific field.
Picture: The laureates receiving their award certificates from the hands of Prof. Gabriel ANABWANI, the NNIA Scientific board chairperson