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A comprehensive mapping of the current capacity for human nutrition training in Cameroon

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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  • Roger Sodjinou
  • Ines Lezama
  • Marie-Louise Asse
  • Georges Okala
  • William K. Bosu
  • Nadia Fanou
  • Ludvine Mbala
  • Noel Marie Zagre
  • Félicité Tchibindat
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Article number29548
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Global Health Action
Issue number1
Volume9
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/01/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background
There is consensus among stakeholders in Cameroon on the need to develop and strengthen human resource capacity for nutrition. This study was conducted to provide a comprehensive mapping of the current capacity for tertiary-level human nutrition training in Cameroon.
Design
Participating institutions included university-level institutions offering dedicated nutrition degree programs or other programs in which nutrition courses were taught. A semi-structured questionnaire administered during in-person interviews was used to collect data on existing programs and content of training curricula. Nutrition curricula were reviewed against the following criteria: intended objectives, coverage of nutrition topics, and teaching methods.
Results
In total, five nutrition degree programs (four undergraduate programs and one master's program) were identified. Three additional programs were about to be launched at the time of data collection. We did not find any doctorate degree programs in nutrition. All the undergraduate programs only had little focus on public health nutrition whereas the master's program in our sample offered a good coverage of all dimensions of human nutrition including basic and applied nutrition. The predominant teaching method was didactic lecture in all the programs. We did not find any formal documentation outlining the competencies that students were expected to gain upon completion of these programs. Nutrition courses in agricultural and health schools were limited in terms of contact hours and scope. Public health nutrition was not covered in any of the health professional schools surveyed. We found no institution offering in-service nutrition training at the time of the study.
Conclusions
Based on our findings, we recommend that nutrition training programs in Cameroon be redesigned to make them more responsive to the public health needs of the country.