Capacity Building to Improve Early Nutrition and Health in South Africa
The ImpENSA project is a multi-centre collaboration co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The project consists of a consortium of members from three European and three South African higher education institutions, and two South African health professional organisations:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
North-West University, South Africa
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Association for Dietetics in South Africa
Nutrition Society of South Africa
Erasmus+ Capacity Building Project
ImpENSA is funded by the European Union under Erasmus+ programme that supports projects in the field of education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The project number is 598488-EPP-1-2018-1-DE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP.
For further details of Erasmus+ programme, please visit: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus_en
Six partner institutions are involved in this project together with two associate partners.
Three partner institutions are from the European Union and three from South Africa. The associate partners are also from South Africa.
- The theme of the South African Child Gauge 2020, published by the Children’s Institute of UCT, is “Food and nutrition security”. This review highlights the slow violence of child malnutrition, and identifies crucial intervention points across the life course.
- Visit the Side-by-Side campaign, an initiative led by the National Department of Health, for COVID-19 related resources for pregnant women and caregivers of young children.
- Visit the Western Cape Government’s First 1 000 days website for more information and resources about this critical period of development.
- Read how “Preconception micronutrient supplementation positively affects child intellectual functioning at 6 y of age” in the March 2021 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Read the March 2021 Lancet series review update on effective interventions to address maternal and child malnutrition.
- Nutrition status prior to conception and during pregnancy and infancy seems to have an influence on the disease risk in adulthood (early nutrition /developmental programming).
- Invest in improving maternal and child nutrition through pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood, one of the “Five urgent actions to protect children's right to nutrition in the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Read more in The Lancet.
- Breastfeeding is the best available protective measure for infants and their mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and should be encouraged and supported throughout.
Read more in the International Breastfeeding Journal.
- Introduction: Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy. This course offers an overview of the latest research findings and international recommendations on a variety of nutrition-related aspects and outcomes of pregnancy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The first 1000 days of life refers to the period from conception until a child is two years old.
South Africa is grappling with a public health crisis in the form of a “triple burden of malnutrition” – the co-existence of micronutrient deficiencies, undernutrition and obesity. This has negative short- and long-term implications for children’s growth, health, wellbeing and development, as well as for the productivity of individuals, families, communities and the nation. The United Nations has identified the first 1 000 days of life as a crucial period to prevent growth faltering and optimise growth and development. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasises the central role of nutrition during this period to improve neurodevelopment, reduce stunting and malnutrition and prevent childhood obesity and non-communicable diseases.
ImpENSA will develop an innovative training course presented through blended learning to health care personnel in South Africa. The purpose of the training course is to improve the knowledge and skills of health care personnel regarding the nutrition of mothers and infants during the first 1 000 days. This will enable them to support families during this crucial time period.