• Building systemic capacity for Nutrition: Training towards a professionalised workforce for Africa.

      Ellahi, Basma; Annan, Reginald; Sarkar, Swrajit; Amuna, Paul; Jackson, Alan A.; University of Chester; University of Kumasi; University of Central Lancashire; University of Greenwich; University of Southampton (Cambridge University Press, 2015-06-15)
      The fundamental role played by good nutrition in enabling personal, social and economic development is now widely recognised as presenting a fundamental global challenge that has to be addressed if major national and international problems are to be resolved in the coming decades. The recent focus provided by the Millennium Development Goals and the Scaling-Up-Nutrition (SUN) Movement has been towards reducing the extent of nutrition-related malnutrition in high burden countries. This has served to emphasise that there is a problem of inadequate professional capacity in nutrition that is sufficiently widespread to severely limit all attempts at the effective delivery and sustainability of nutrition-related and nutrition-enabling interventions that have impact at scale. Many high burden countries are in sub-Saharan Africa where there is a high dependency on external technical support to address nutrition-related problems. We have sought to explore the nature and magnitude of the capacity needs with a particular focus on achieving levels of competency within standardised professional pre-service training which is fit for purpose to meet the objectives within the Scaling-Up-Nutrition movement in Africa. We review our experience of engaging with stakeholders through workshops and a gap analysis of the extent of the problem to be addressed, and a review of current efforts in Africa. We conclude that there are high aspirations but severely limited human resource and capacity for training that is fit-for-purpose at all skill levels in nutrition-related subjects in Africa. There are no structured or collaborative plans within professional groups to address the wide gap between what is currently available, the ongoing needs and the future expectations for meeting local technical and professional capability. Programmatic initiatives encouraged by agencies and other external players, will need to be matched by improved local capabilities to address the serious efforts required to meet the needs for sustained improvements related to Scaling-Up-Nutrition in high burden countries. Importantly, there are pockets of effort which need to be encouraged within a context in which experience can be shared and mutual support provided.
    • Decreasing physical activity levels across religious Sikh male South asian migrant population in Kent, UK: A public health concern

      Sarkar, Swrajit; Ellahi, Basma; Zotor, Francis B.; Amuna, Paul; Leeds Trinity University; University of Chester; University of Health and Allied Sciences; University of Greenwich (SAGE, 2017-10-09)
      Physical activity (PA) plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We investigated intergenerational physical activity level (PAL) among first and second generation Sikh Punjabi male subjects (n=137), recruited from two Sikh temples in Medway, UK. Employing a cross sectional survey PA was quantified using the validated Global PA Questionnaire (GPAQ). Data were analysed using SPSS 20 and Epi Info software. 91% of the subjects were classified as overweight. Mean physical activity level (PAL) range was sedentary to low levels of PA (1.45 – 1.60). Comparisons between first and second generation Punjabi male subjects showed that the two groups are equally culpable in not engaging in work-related or recreational PA, but for the second generation this is significantly lower. Low PAL is a contributory factor to increased risk and prevalence of NCDs among this population and a public health concern. Efforts to increase PA in this group should continue.