It was with a mixture of pride and pleasure that Metropolitan’s international Bachelor Programme in Global Nutrition and Health (GNH) was recently redesignated as a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) for a two-year period (2014-2015) following its initial designation in 2010. This means GNH will continue to be part of a global network comprising 80 other WHO Collaborating Centres for Nutrition, five of which are in Europe.
Hanne Gillet, head of the Bachelor Programme in Global Nutrition and Health, says that Global Nutrition and Health’s redesignation as a WHO Collaborating Centre represents a recognition of the hard work that has gone into the development of Global Nutrition and Health, provides a seal of approval important for staff, graduates and students, and will have a positive impact on the future developments and growth of the programme.
There are a number of other advantages for GNH students, graduates and lecturers to being a WHO CC:
- It enhances GNH visibility, vital for marketing the programme globally
- GNH scholarships enable students from many different parts of the world to apply
- It promotes international collaboration with international institutions, in line with GNH´s aim to establish a range of international partnerships
- It creates the possibility of establishing international internships for students under auspices of WHO
- It creates more opportunities for GNH lecturers, graduates and students to participate in research
- It will facilitate graduates finding employment globally
- The inherent recognition that goes with WHO CC designation, increases the status of GNH programme and makes us a more exciting and fun place to be
Global Nutrition and Health’s co-operation with the World Health Organisation started back in 2006, and since then, GNH has worked with the WHO on a number of projects. GNH regularly shares research results with WHO: especially on projects dealing with inequalities, such as EURO-PREVOB, PolMark, STANMARK, SPOTLIGHT, Healthy National Food Baskets, Climate Change and Nutrition to name only a few. In addition, we have been involved in activities related to increasing physical activity such as organising the WHO Move for Health days.
Inequities and Health will be keywords in the future collaboration with the WHO: The relationship between socio-economic conditions and poor nutrition is a major and escalating problem, especially in relation to women and children. Research in this area is important for the development of health policies, such as Health 2020, and is a priority with WHO.
The WHO’s Programme manager for Nutrition, Joao Breda, emphasises that the themes of inequality and nutrition are high on WHO’s agenda, and that co-operation with Global Nutrition and Health is important:
“Exchanging ideas and experiences on diet and nutrition, and developing research results for WHO’s central database of statistics on nutrition and health conditions in Europe are key to this co-operation. Being a WHO Collaborating Centre means that the institution is part of a strong international network that shares ideas and experiences and WHO is committed to focusing on key nutrition and health issues.”
Author Aileen Robertson, Research and development consultant email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 72 48 79 91