DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY NUTRITIONBackground
The Department of Community Nutrition is a pioneering department in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) of the University for Development Studies. The department started academic work in 1996 with seven (7) students and has grown to its current student population of over 700 students.
The department focuses on training community nutritionists to scientifically identify, understand, and contribute to solving public health nutrition problems. Members of the department have expertise in a wide range of disciplines including public health nutrition, nutritional physiology, nutritional epidemiology, development and evaluation of community nutrition interventions, policy, population research and diet-related chronic diseases.
The Departmentís unique strengths and priorities lie in the area of food and nutrition security, micro-nutrients deficiency control and nutritional modulation of infectious and diet-related diseases.Academic Programmes
The University for Development Studies (UDS) started a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Community Nutrition in 1996. The Department of Community Nutrition offers degree programmes at the undergraduate level. The Community Nutrition Programme is very comprehensive and it provides a solid understanding of the biological basis of human nutrition and health. Students are also exposed to a broad training curriculum in the public health sciences, physiological, biochemical, and behavioral aspects of nutrition. The programme produces well-rounded graduates after 4-year rigorous studies, equipped with expertise and analytic skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate nutrition programmes and policies.
The department is presently building critical mass of staff to run post graduate programmesDepartmental Research Agenda
Research informs the strategic thinking and policy development of any academic department. Consequently, research undertaken by the Department focuses on areas that are most important to improve the nutrition well being of the Ghanaian society at large and Northern Ghana in particular. Our priority research areas include the following:
- Nutrition related chronic diseases
- Maternal and child nutrition
- Food and nutrition security
- Control of micronutrients deficiencies
The department plays a unique role in community outreach. The rationale behind the outreach programme is to help identify and solve existing community problems that will go a long way to touch the lives of the people in such communities.
The basic goals for the community outreach programme include:
- To establish firm practice links with district and regional health institutions
- To strengthen the community nutrition curriculum with innovative community-based public health nutrition practice experience
- To assist policy development affecting public health nutrition
- To develop model interventions aimed at addressing the critical public health nutritional problems in the communities
As part of its activities, the Association of Community Nutrition Students (ASCONS), sets aside one week annually, during which students interact with communities to deliver public education and participate in outreach services of the Ghana Health ServicesFostering Collaborative Research in Nutrition
Through collaborative nutrition research and partnership, we endeavour to influence decisions and policies that impact on the nutrition, health and well-being of individuals and communities in Ghana.Past Research and Consultancy Services by the Department
Staff in the Department have conducted and provided consultancy services for international organizations including Catholic Relief Services, World Food Programme, UNICEF, ACDEP and LINKAGES.