This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at http://unu.edu


UNU’s Activities in and on Africa

Health & Nutrition


Djibouti — A health worker discussing food and nutrition with a young mother while on a home visit. Photographer © Giacomo Pirozzi

Completed projects appear below those ongoing.

Review of graduate training in international nutrition

UNU Food and Nutrition Programme (UNU-FNP)

Contact: Sara Shapiro

The UNU-FNP also plans, in partnership with the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition, to conduct and publish a comprehensive review of graduate training in international nutrition. The review aims to recommend curriculum that reflects current needs, challenges and opportunities and enables transformative advancements in translating new nutrition knowledge into practice; Include a cost/benefit analysis of educating Ph.D. students from developing regions in regional versus Western universities.

Tags: Africa, health and nutrition, review of graduate training

African Nutrition Leadership Programme

UNU Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development (UNU-FNP)

Contact: Johann Jerling

Timeframe: annual

Programme website

Since the first edition in 2002, the African Nutrition Leadership Programme (ANLP) has held six annual seminars in South Africa. The programme was initiated following the model established by the European Nutrition Leadership Programme to contribute to leadership development in nutrition and food science in Africa. The programme, organized by Dr. Fré Pepping (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) and Prof. Johann Jerling (North-West University, South Africa) consists of an intensive, two-week course that uses experiential learning but also group work and lectures to achieve its outcomes.

The development of leadership skills and personal development is the overall focus. The ninth edition will take place from 15-25 March, 2011. The progamme strengthens the linkages between the over 130 ANLP alumni and by doing so contributes to pan-African collaboration in nutrition activities. The programme website is undergoing a reconstruction to create a web-based communication platform that allows more interaction among the ANLP-alumni.

Location: South Africa

Tags: nutrition, capacity building, leadership training

Programme de Leadership Africain en Nutrition

UNU Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development (UNU-FNP)

Contact: Nada Benajiba

Timeframe: annual

The success of the African Nutrition Leadership Programme initiated a pilot French version of this programme, PLAN, held in Quarzazate in Morocco from 1-5 May 2007. This activity utilized the ANLP material however, the ‘science portion’ of the programme was primarily in English and the ‘skills portion’ in French. The program was held again in June, 2008 and in June, 2010 in Morocco. The next course is planned for 2011.

Location: Morocco

Tags: education, nutrition, leadership, capacity development

Implementation of Master of Public Health (Hospital Management) and Master of Business Administration (Hospital Management)

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009–2010

UNU-IIGH in collaboration with University of Medical Science and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan and Ministry of Health Sudan is jointly organising a one and a half year Master of Public Health Programme with special focus on Hospital Management. MOU between UNU-IIGH and UMST will be signed in May 2009 and the programme will start in June 2009 with the first intake of 25 students. UNU-IIGH is also supporting UMST Sudan to run a one year Master of Business Administration in Hospital Management. Post-graduate students in this programme will be sent to UNU-IIGH in Kuala Lumpur for a two week study tour to provide an international exposure on latest development in hospital and health service management.

Location: Khartoum, Sudan

Tags: Master programme

Short Course in Health System and Health Financing Reform in Developing Countries

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009–2011

UNU-IIGH in collaboration with Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia will conduct a two week short course on health system and health financing reform targeted at middle and top level managers in health sector of developing countries. The course will be conducted annually and will be hosted alternately by UNU-IIGH Kuala Lumpur and Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta. Each course will be able to take 20-25 participants; UNU-IIGH will sponsor between three to five participants from African countries to attend this short course. The first course is scheduled to be held in Jogjakarta from 27th July to 7th of August 2009.

Tags: health policy

Open Source Software Training Programme in Health Care

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009–2011

Development of health information system in developing countries is heavily dependent on the use of Information and Communication Technology. Open Source Software could provide a more affordable and sustainable ICT solution for developing countries. However the uptake of Open Source Software in health care system in developing countries is limited due to lack of technical capacity. UNU-IIGH in collaboration with UNU-IIST Macau and Open Source Health Care Alliance (OSHCA) will launch a modular course to train health care workers to develop and manage open source software. This hands-on course is expected to start in May 2009. It is anticipated that thirty participants will be trained in each intake. Five places will be allocated to participants from African countries.

Tags: IT, open source software

Safe water, safe women, safe health

UNU International Network on Water Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

This initiative, supported by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, works toward an understanding of knowledge, attitudes and practices related to water-health linkages in rural communities in the Lake Victoria Basin. Only through a better understanding of the local culture, beliefs, and practices can we begin to develop and implement sustainable behaviour change that will enhance access to safe water for the most vulnerable.

Locations: Lake Victoria Basin - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania

Tags: gender, rural, sanitation, vulnerability/risk, drinking water

Master of Public Health Programme in Sudan

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009–2012

UNU-IIGH signed an MOU with University of Medical Science and Technology,(UMST) Khartoum in August 2009 to support the university in implementing it's Master of Public Health Programme specialising in Hospital Management. This two year postgraduate programme consists of 40 credits hours of taught courses and a dissertation. There are 21 units of core courses and 19 units of advance courses in the academic programme. Academic staff from UNU-IIGH are involved in conducting seven advance courses and two basic courses in the programme. UNU-IIGH and UMST jointly provide the financial support to bring in the academic staff to teach in the programme. In December 2009 the programme was officially launched with the first intake of 34 candidates. Currently the candidates are attending the first semester courses. To date, UNU-IIGH has sent its Senior Research Fellow to conduct the first course on Principle of Health Management in December 2009.

Locations: Sudan

Tags: Master programme

Capacity building on management of social health insurance scheme of Sudan

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2010–2012

UNU-IIGH was approached by National Health Insurance Fund of Sudan (NHIF) to help the organisation to develop technical capacity in the management of social health insurance programme in the country. NHIF is a government agency established in 1994 affiliated with the Ministry of Welfare, Women and Child Affairs. It is responsible for managing and providing health insurance coverage to the population of Sudan. NHIF sought the technical support of UNU-IIGH in the implementation of a case-mix system to enhance quality and efficiency of health care services provided under the health insurance scheme managed by NHIF. In addition, NHIF also intends to collaborate with UNU-IIGH in research activities and postgraduate education in health insurance and public health in general. In August 2009, UNU-IIGH and NHIF signed a letter of intent to work on the proposed programmes. Currently, both parties are in the process of preparing a MOU, which will be signed in 2010.

Locations: Sudan

Tags: Social Health Insurance

Short course in health sector reform

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009–2012

UNU-IIGH in collaboration with Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia and Network for Education in International Health (TropEd) organized an international course on Health Sector Reform and Health Finance in Developing Countries in Yogjakarta from 3 to 14 August 2009. The two week course was hosted by Universitas Gadjah Mada and was attended by 19 participants from ten different countries. The participants were given exposure to health sector reform issues, which include policy-making process, decentralization, privatization, health governance and reform in health financing. Case studies on health sector reform from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were discussed in the course. UNU-IIGH provided full sponsorship to Dr. Fikru Tessema, Director of Health Sector Reform Directorate, Ministry of Health Ethiopia to attend this short course. Discussion that ensued following the course raised the possibility of conducting similar courses in some countries in Africa in the future.

Locations: Ethiopia

Tags: Health Reform

Completed Projects

Support for the implementation of Master’s in Public Health (Hospital Management) and Master’s in Business Administration (Hospital Management) with Ministry of Health, Sudan, and University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan

UNU International Institute for Global health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Time frame: 2008–2009

UNU-IIGH capacity development programme comprises the implementation of Master’s programmes in Public Health (Hospital Management) and Master’s in Business Administration (Hospital Management), both being jointly organized with the Ministry of Health in Sudan and the University of Medical Sciences & Technology (UMST) located in Khartoum, Sudan. UNU-IIGH, the Ministry of Health in Sudan and UMST are in the process of formalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the parties involved and the launch of these programmes are projected to begin in September 2008.

Tags: Africa, capacity development, health and nutrition, master’s programme, Sudan

Research on Health Innovation Systems in Africa (ATPS): Building national systems of innovation in the health biotechnology sector

UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Centre on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

Contact: Padmashree Gehl Sampath

Time frame: 2006–2008

A UNU-MERIT team, in a joint project with the Africa Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), undertook a comprehensive survey of national health innovation systems in 15 sub-Saharan African countries. The research aims to generate knowledge and insights that is useful in strengthening policies or healthcare technology assessment and management. The project assesses the role of innovation within health system -as a whole-, the impact of government incentives on health system innovations, and the respective roles of a broad range of actors including hospitals, public and private research institutions and traditional health practitioners. This project boosts on-going work at the Institute on the role of incentive mechanisms to promote research and development on vaccines and drugs to combat AIDS, malaria and TB, and other diseases of importance to developing countries.

Further work carried out in Kenya and South Africa assessed in-country needs as well as the policy changes needed to promote the competitive production of vaccines and drugs whilst building capacity to ensure long-term self-sufficiency in the realm of biotechnological research. In addition, two complementary studies commissioned by the World Health Organization (feeding into the work of the WHO Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Health) and UNCTAD (for the 2007 Least Developed Countries Report), respectively, provided further insights on how national research and development structures could be more closely aligned to meeting health care targets in developing countries.

In the first quarter of 2008, UNU-MERIT’s Collaborative Creativity Group convened two important events to explore the role of Medical Prizes in enhancing access to medical drugs and technologies, particularly in developing countries. The first was an international expert workshop, co-organized with Knowledge Ecology International, held in Maastricht on 28-29 January 2008 which explored the economics of monetary prizes as an alternative mechanism to stimulate private investments in R&D. The workshop brought together policymakers, academics, pharmaceutical industry representatives and civil society activists from all over the world. The findings of the workshop contributed to a UNU-MERIT panel discussion held at the UN Headquarters, in New York, on 20 March 2008 entitled “Prize or Patent? Innovative ideas for funding medical drug development and access”.

Tags: Africa, health and nutrition, innovation, health system, research and development, drug access, incentive mechanisms, medical prizes, malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS

South African Nutrition Capacity Development Initiative (SANCADI)

UNU Food and Nutrition Programme (UNU-FNP)

Contact: Sara Shapiro

SANCADI continues to work with the departments of health in several provinces in South Africa to strengthen capacity among doctors and nurses to improve the management of severe childhood malnutrition. The director of SANCADI, has been approached by the University of Cape Town School of Child and Adolescent Health to review its Nutrition teaching of medical students.

SANCADI supported the first phase of the development of a training Curriculum for Malawi’s newly appointed Community Nutrition and HIV and AIDS Worker. This involved providing technical and financial support for the conduct of a 5 day Curriculum Review Workshop in October 2007, with 22 key stakeholder representatives. This is a multi-phase process which will continue into 2008. The Workshop outputs were a Job Description, List of Competencies of this worker and a Curriculum Framework.

University of the Western Cape has been working with some provinces in implementing the WHO Ten Steps to managing severe malnutrition. The Department of Health, Nutrition plans to now move from facility-based care to Community Therapeutic Care (CTC). As Malawi is quite advanced with CTC, SANCADI has arranged for Malawi to provide technical support to South Africa. South Africa also needs support in strengthening their facility-based management of severe malnutrition. While the University of Western Cape is supporting the facility-based care component, SANCADI will continue to support them in developing the CTC component. The Department of Health is focusing on the continuing management of malnutrition, HIV and AIDS and Food Security for the children who have been discharged into the community. SANCADI will provide support in building capacity at district level in implementing the community therapeutic care programme.

Tags: Africa, health and nutrition, childhood malnutrition, SANCADI, health, nutrition, capacity development, South Africa, Malawi, malnutrition, food security

Second International Conference on Rural Medicine

UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Contact: Syed Aljunid

Timeframe: 2009

UNU-IIGH in collaboration with University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI) organized the Second International Conference on Rural Medicine which took place 23-25 November 2009. The three-day conference held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia was attended by about 250 participants. The conference theme was “Facing Global Challenges in Rural Medicine: An International Collaboration.” UNU-IIGH participated actively in the conference by conducting a special symposium on global health on the first day. The Director of UNU-IIGH, a Senior Research Fellow and Research Fellow of UNU-IIGH each presented a paper in the special symposium. UNU-IIGH provided full sponsorship to Dr. Victor Inem from Nigeria who presented the Keynote Address entitled “Health Security in Rural Areas”. Dr. Inem is a Professor of Family Medicine in University of Lagos and Delta State University Abaraka. In his keynote address, Professor Inem presented a case study of the Rural Niger Delta: human and health security.

Locations: Nigeria

Tags: Conference

◊◊◊

Page last modified 2011.06.07.




Home  •  About UNU  •  UNU Institutes  •  Events  •  Online Learning  •  Publications  •  Library