Capacity for scaling up nutrition: a focus on pre-service training in West Africa

Aryeetey RNO Laar AK, Zotor F, Ghana SUN Academic Platform (2015)


The 2013 Lancet series on maternal and child nutrition is identified and advocated for improved institutional and human capacity in nutrition towards scaling up nutrition (SUN) in countries with high stunting rates. Of the fifty-four countries with high burden of child undernutrition who have committed to the SUN movement, thirty-six are in Africa. In the present paper, the academic platform of the SUN movement in Ghana presents an overview of nutrition pre-service capacity in West Africa with a focus on Ghana. The present paper is based on the findings of a sub-region-wide assessment of degree programmes in nutrition in West Africa, plus another report on pre-service nutrition capacity in diploma awarding nursing and nutrition programmes in Ghana. Although there is inadequate evidence on pre-service nutrition training in the sub-region, the two reports provide useful evidence for action, including inadequate number and distribution of pre-service nutrition training programmes, low nutrition graduate output, poor quality of the programme curriculum and instruction, and sub-optimal capital investment. The present paper calls for urgent action to improve pre-service nutrition capacity building as a critical step towards SUN in West Africa.


Capacity; Nutrition; SUN scaling up nutrition; Scaling up; West Africa

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