Kyambogo university partners with USAID/SPRING Project to Strengthen Nutrition Training

Kyambogo university students, Vice Chancellor and the patterns from USAID
Kyambogo university students, Vice Chancellor and the partners from USAID

In view of enhancing the capacity of its Human Nutrition Graduates and Staff, the Kyambogo University Department of Human Nutrition and Home Economics (KyU-DHN&HE) has officially launched a formal partnership to Strengthen Nutrition Training, Leadership and Development with the United States Agency (USAID) Strengthening Partnerships Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project (USAID/SPRING).

The partnership also known as the Young Professional Program (YPP) aims to strengthen the capacity of graduates and staff of the KyU-DHN&HE in Nutrition Training, Leadership and Development.

This flagship partnership was launched at Kyambogo University on the 15th October 2014 by the Acting Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University Professor Elly Katunguka and the SPRING global Project Manager Miss Carolyn Hart in the presence of staff, students and the USAID /SPRING Uganda country team representatives.

The USAID/SPRING project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by USAID with an overarching vision to prevent stunting, and work with women and children on reducing anaemia through: social and behavior change communication for nutrition; maternal, infant, and young child nutrition programming with a focus on the first 1,000 days of life; and implementation research that addresses the challenges of delivering effective nutrition programming at scale.

 As part of the partnership, the USAID/SPRING will give selected final year Human Nutrition and Dietetics Graduates an experiential opportunity to undertake paid internships with the USAID/SPRING in nutrition programming and implementation as well as provide research opportunities to staff from KyU-DHN&HE pursuing PhD training in courses within USAID/SPRING research foci.

Further, the partnership will allow for sharing of field experiences in nutrition programming and implementation by the USAID/SPRING with staff and students enrolled for the Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. At the end of internships the students are expected to have gained skills in designing and implementing community nutrition programs; monitoring and evaluation of nutrition projects and conducting and carrying out nutrition research-skills relevant in addressing national nutrition challenges.

 At the launch, Professor Katunguka appreciated the initiative noting that partnerships are the way to go if universities are to train skilled graduates. He further noted that such partnerships facilitate student learning and comprehension of skills that may not necessarily be taught in classroom.  He further applauded the USAID/SPRING project for focusing on developing skills of young professionals.

The SPRING Project manager extended her gratitude to the University and the Department of Human Nutrition for having taken on the responsibility of training the critically needed human resource base for the country. She further noted that with the prevailing levels of malnutrition in Uganda-nutrition graduates will increasing be needed not only in government sectors but all other areas of work.

The Partnership, she explained, will equip fresh graduates with skills to effectively deliver nutrition services in different communities in addition to enabling them be competitive in the work environment. She expressed optimism that the launched project can be used as a learning model to be scaled in other countries.

 At the launch of the Partnership, six former graduates also presented interesting findings of the projects that they had undertaken with the USAID/SPRING.  .

Also See: North Korea to partner with Makerere University

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