New course to improve nutrition programs in Latin America, Caribbean

A course developed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University (GW), and the Yale School of Public Health, with financing from the Government of Canada, aims to improve nutrition programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, and prevent malnutrition in all its forms.

The course, “Evaluation and Quality Assurance of Nutrition Programs”, a mixed online and on-site course, began this month on the PAHO Virtual Campus for Public Health.

A total of 35 professionals from the Ministries of Health of Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru were selected to take part in this initial four-month training, which includes a one-week on-site workshop in Ecuador in December 2018.

“This program will enable participants to learn about continuous evaluation and its application to nutrition policies and programs in several countries,” said Uriyoán Colón Ramos, ScD, MPA, an Associate Professor of Global Health at Milken Institute SPH. “Furthermore, the course will increase knowledge of the double burden of malnutrition and obesity.”

According to the Panorama of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, there are currently 6.1 million children under the age of 5 living with chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean, and another 3.9 million that are overweight.

“This initiative will help countries build their capacities to utilize innovative evaluation and quality assurance techniques to improve the performance of their current food and nutrition programs,” said Rubén Grajeda, PAHO regional advisor on nutrition.

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