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Building systemic capacity for Nutrition: Training towards a professionalised workforce for Africa.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.
Knowledge and Determinants of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Adults in Hohoe Municipality, GhanaThe World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that a person consumes at least 400g of Fruit and Vegetable (FV) daily to prevent chronic disease risk. We assessed knowledge of current WHO guidelines and other determinants of FV intake among adults (≥ 18 years, n = 397) in Hohoe Municipality, Ghana. Face-to-face interviews using a questionnaire adopted from WHO Risk Factor Surveillance System were undertaken. Knowledge of FV daily servings and determinants of intake were evaluated by descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. There was a 99.2% response rate with approximately 9% of participants correctly stating the WHO daily recommended amount (P = .296). Most (54%) of respondents’ FV intake was affected by unavailability of desired choice (P = .050). Odd of inadequate consumption for persons aware of adequate amount was 1.97 (95% CI: 0.64, 6.05, P = .234) higher than persons without awareness. Participants with problems accessing their desired choice of FV had 0.59 odds (95% CI: 0.36, 0.95, P = .030) of consuming inadequate amount compared to those with easy access. Adequate FV intake depends on availability of consumer preference regardless of knowledge of recommendations. Individual FV cultivation is relevant for availability of preferred choice and adequate consumption for NCDs risk reductions among Ghanaians.