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close this bookSCN News, Number 16 - Nutrition of the School-aged Child (ACC/SCN, 1998, 80 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMessage From the Chairman
View the documentAGN Page
View the documentNutrition of the Scholl-Aged Child
View the documentA Summary of SCN Working Group Discussions, Oslo 1998
View the documentAbstracts the Symposium Challenges for the 21st Century: Gender Perspective on Nutrition Through the Life Cycle
View the documentNews and Views
View the documentNutrition in Emergencies
View the documentLetters to the Editor
View the documentCourses, Meetings Anouncements
View the documentInformation Resources
View the documentProgrammes News
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Courses, Meetings Anouncements

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland Elected Director General of WHO


Source: WHO website

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland was elected to the post of Director-General of WHO at the 51a Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), Geneva, 11-16 May 1998. This five-year term will start on July 21st 1998. In her speech to the WHA, Dr Brundtland immediately affirmed her conviction that societies can be changed and that poverty can be fought. "The challenge goes to all of us. WHO can and must change. It must become more effective, more accountable, more transparent and more receptive to a changing world."

Describing the priorities and reorganisation which she intends to start implementing "from the very first day", Dr Brundtland said that programmes and activities will be organised around key functions focusing on four areas of concern: communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, building sustainable health systems and advocating health. Some activities will be organised into projects. Among the first priorities for such projects, she proposed to "Roll Back Malaria, by developing a new health sector-wide approach to combat the disease at global, regional and country levels." A second priority is tobacco:

"We need to address a major cause of premature death which is dramatically increasing... Tobacco is a killer."

Dr Gro Harlem Bruntland concluded her speech by saying, "I envisage a world where solidarity binds the fortunate with those less favoured. Where our collective efforts will help roll back all the diseases of the poor. Where our collective efforts assure universal access to compassionate and competent health care. Bringing the world one step closer to that goal is our call for action."

In mid-June, a list of provisional organisational clusters (ten clusters in total) placed Food Safety and the Programme for Nutrition in the 'Health, Environmental and Sustainable Development' cluster, with Food Aid Programmes and the Division of Child Health and Development in the 'Health Care Delivery' cluster.

Sources: Transcript of Dr Brundtland's speech to the 51st WHA, 1998. WHO press release WHA/3.

DR GRO HARLEM BRUNDTLAND was born in Oslo, Norway. She studied medicine at the University of Oslo, from which she obtained her M.D. degree in 1963. She received a Masters degree in Pubic Health from Harvard University in 1965, following which she served for two years as medical officer at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, and for 6 years as Assistant Medical Director at the Oslo Board of Health, Department of School Services. In 1974, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland was appointed Minister of Environment, a position she held for 5 years. Appointed Prime Minister for the first time in 1981, she held this position three times, and in total, was Head of Government for more than 10 years.

Among her numerous international positions, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development (starting in 1983), which coined the concept of 'sustainable development' and made recommendations leading to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Roger Shrimpton - New Chief of Nutrition, UNICEF

Roger Shrimpton was appointed Chief of Nutrition, Programme Division, UNICEF, New York on 29 December 1997, following the move of David AInwick from Chief of Nutrition to Chief of Health (see SCN News No.15 p38). Prior to his appointment, Roger served as Senior Programme Officer in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Roger joined UNICEF in 1984 as Nutrition Officer in Sao Luis, Maranho in the North-East of Brazil. He also served in the Brasilia office for two years, coordinating health and nutrition support to the North-East of Brazil. Following a two-year assignment as a Research Associate with Cornell University's Food and Nutritional Policy Programme, he returned to the Brasilia office in 1989 as Senior Project Officer. In 1991, Roger joined the Jakarta Indonesia office where he remained until his transfer to New York.

Milla McLachlan - Nutrition Advisor for the Human Development Network at the World Bank

Milla McLachlan was appointed nutrition advisor for the Human Development Network at the World Bank on June 8th 1998.

Prior to her appointment, Milla worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and was chairperson of the Nutrition Society of Southern Africa.

Milla has taught food and nutrition in Botswana, has lectured in food science and adult education at the University of Stellen-bosch and was head of department at the University of Zululand. She has written many publications on nutrition, the most recent of which is 'Bold Choices: Making the South African Nutrition Strategy Work', written with Pauline Kuzwayo.


Rafael Floras Ayala - New Research Fellow for the Fourth Report

The SCN and IFPRI are collaborating on the production of 'The World Nutrition Situation: Fourth Report'. To this end, Rafael Flores Ayala has been appointed to conduct research, analyse and interpret global, regional and country trends in nutrition indicators, leading to the publication of the Fourth Report in December 1999. Rafael will work closely with the SCN Secretariat in Geneva and the Division of Food Consumption and Nutrition at IFPRI in Washington, USA.

Of Guatemalan origin, Rafael has worked at the Instituto de Nutricie Centre America y PanamINCAP) for most of his career. At INCAP he initially worked as a statistician, becoming head of the Statistical Unit in 1982. In 1993 he was appointed head of the Transfer of Science and Technology Program, and two years later he became head of the Nutrition and Health Program. In 1989, Rafael obtained a doctorate in public health from the Department of Biostatistics, University of California at Los Angeles, USA.

Rafael has experience in technical cooperation activities throughout Central and South America. His main interests include the generational effects of malnutrition and the causal mechanism between malnutrition, infection and diet. Rafael will start work on the Fourth Report in August 1998.

Joaquin Cravioto - In Memoriam

Joaquin Cravioto, one of the hemisphere's pioneer paediatric nutritionists, died in Mexico City on April 9,1998. Born in Mexico on September 12, 1933, his seminal observations of the relation ship between growth retardation in rural Mexican children and impaired intersensory integration, while an investigator in the Children's Hospital of Mexico, provided the first convincing evidence that malnutrition influenced learning and behaviour. The findings, graphically presented in his famous lecture 'Children of the White Dust,' stimulated the research that has now confirmed the relationship in dozens of studies from all parts of the world. Variations in growth among children in middle and upper income families bore no relationship to differences in intersensory integration.

Cravioto also described the relationship between marasmic-kwashiorkor and reduced cognitive performance. This work complemented the significant concurrent work of Fernando Monckeberg in Chile showing a similar and lasting effect of marasmus in infancy. Cravioto was a charismatic teacher who inspired generations of paediatricians and nutritionists to understand and take into account the impact of malnutrition on the physical and mental growth of children.

From 1961 to 1966 he left Mexico to serve as Associate Director of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP). While there he replicated his famous landmark study of undenutrition in children and demonstrated his outstanding influence on students as a leader of the summer course in Public Health Nutrition. He also had responsibility for INCAP's relationship with its member countries to assist them in the application it its research findings and formulation and implementation of national nutrition policies.

Upon returning to Mexico, he became the Director for the next 16 years of the National Programme for Integrated Family Development of the National Institute of Science and Technology and continued active field research. At the time of his death he was on the faculty of the National Institute of Human Communication of the Autonomous University of Mexico still conducting research on nutrition, growth, and development.

From 1966 to 1971, he was Director of Training in the Children's Hospital of Mexico. He also served for several years as Assistant Director of the Applied Nutrition Division of FAO in Rome. He was a visiting professor at Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Washington in the United States and universities in the United Kingdom and Sweden. He received honors and awards from many countries and was a member of 25 national and foreign scientific societies.

In addition to his wife Maria Cristina he is survived by a son, Alejandro, and daughter, Patricia, both of whom worked with him in his research, as well as three grandchildren. With his death the world has lost one of the last of the remarkable founders and leaders of modern paediatric nutrition.

By Nevin Scrimshaw, UNU.

The 8th European Nutrition Conference Lillehammer, Norway, 17-19 June 1999

Organised by the Norwegian Nutrition Society (NNS), the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) and the European Academy of Nutrtional Sciences (EANS), the 8th European Nutrition Conference will cover the following main topics (preliminary):

· nutrition and genetics;
· antioxidants and nonnutrients from fruits and vegetables;
· obesity in Europe;
· the nutrition of the foetus and the young child;
· dietary lipids and health;
· classical micronutrients;
· bone development and osteoporosis;
· food and nutrition policy;
· food safety and security.

The conference aims to provide a inspiring forum for interactive exchange by any group interested in food and nutrition: scientists, clinical nutritionalists, food technologists and producers, policy-makers, students, health workers, dietitians, home economists, public health nutritionalists and administrators and journalists.

For further scientific information, please contact Sigrid Berge, Norwegian Nutrition Society, Schweigaards gate 33B, N-0191 Oslo, Norway. Tel: 47 22 17 35 40 Fax: 47 22 17 35 38 Email: The conference organiser is Trude Arnesen, P.O. Box 14, N-2601 Lillehammer, Norway. Tel: 47 61 25 17 05 Fax: 47 61 25 65 15 Email: Further information and requests for a second announcement leaflet are available on the Web at

Nutrition and Human Rights -the Rights Way to Approaching Nutrition Challenges in the Future?

A graduate/postgraduate course Instituto for Nutrition Research/School of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Norway. 5 Oct - 3 Dec 1998

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care..." Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 50 years ago by the UN General Assembly.

On the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Institute for Nutrition Research and School of Nutrition at the University of Oslo, Norway is for the second time offering a two month graduate/postgraduate credit course on Nutrition and Human Rights. The aims of the course are to:

· introduce participants to the evolution and practice of inter national human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights;

· address human rights issues as they relate to food and nutrition;

· enable participants to recognise the possible advantages of a human rights approach to nutrition analysis, advocacy and action.

Topics addressed in the course will include:

· an overview of the international human rights normative system;

· the content and implementation of economic, social and cultural rights;

· human rights institutions, mechanisms and procedures for promoting and monitoring food and nutrition policies and programmes;

· human rights standards and recommendations by major UN development conferences;

· human rights data bases and information gathering;

· communication about the right to food and nutrition as human rights.

In addition to the course coordinators (Wenche Barth Eide and Siri Damman), guest lecturers from various institutions will lead the sessions, which may include a few intensive weekend seminars. The course will be participatory and interactive and a substantial amount of time will be required for individual reading.

To be admitted to the course, the student must have a first degree in human nutrition or equivalent documented knowledge, and a good oral and written working knowledge of English. Participation is limited. For further information and application forms, please contact Marius Bergh, Study Administrator, Institute for Nutrition Research/School of Nutrition, P.O. Box 1046, Blindem, 0316 Oslo, Norway. Tel: 47 22 85 13 42 Fax: 47 22 8513 41 Email: or Siri Damman, course coordinator, Tel: 47 22 85 13 79 Email:

International Conference on Infant and Pre-School Child Nutrition

Celebrating 50 years of the University of lbadan 16-21 Nov 1988, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

The overall purpose of this conference is to bring together internationally renowned scientists and practitioners to discuss current issues and future directions on infant and pre-school child nutrition. With an emphasis on Africa, young African scientists will be encouraged to participate more actively in the debate on appropriate strategies for reducing under five malnutrition and mortality. The conference will also review progress made by the State Parties in Africa to achieve the commitments made at the 1990 World Summit for Children and the 1992 ICN.

Topics covered will include:

· nutrition of the pre-term and term infant;
· exclusive breastfeeding and maternal care;
· nutritional requirements of infants in health and disease;
· nutritional implications of culture in infant feeding practices;
· complementary feeding, quality and safety;
· feeding the pre-school child.

The conference will consist of a series of plenary lectures, debates, symposia, workshops, oral and poster presentations in simultaneous english-french translation.

To obtain a copy of the conference booklet, giving full details of the programme, including application forms, registration forms and information about registration fees, travel and accommodation, please contact Professor Isaac O. Akinyele, Coordinator, International Conference on Infant Nutrition, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Tel: 234 2 810 5859 Fax: 234 2 810 5272 Email: or for countries other than Nigeria, Dr Serge Treche, Directeur de Recherche, ORSTOM, Lab de Nutrition Tropicale, Centre ORSTOM, 911 Avenue Agropolis, BP 5045, F34 032, Montpellier, Cedex, France. Tel: 33 4 6741 6295 Fax: 33 4 6754 7800 Email:

2nd International Course on Nutrition Surveillance / 2UP>me Cours International:

Surveillance Nutritionnelle
October 19 to November 6,1998
19 octobre - 6 novembre 1998, Montpellier, France

La surveillance nutritionnelle est un volet important des Plans d'action mis en oeuvre par plus de 108 pays, a ce jour, a la suite de la Conference Internationale sur la Nutrition (Rome, 1992). Au Sommet Mondial de l'Alimentation, en novembre 1996, les Etats participants se sont lement donnour objectif d'blir des systs d'information sur l'insecuritt la vulnbilitlimentaire. L'objectif du cours est de repondre a la demande d'information/formation pour apprnder au mieux les implications et les moyens de mise en oeuvre d'activites de surveillance nutritionnelle. Ce cours est destine en priorit des professionnels de la nutrition, de la santublique, de l'agriculture, impliques dans des pays en developpement.

Renseignements: ORSTOM - LNT, B.P. 5045, F-34032 - Montpellier Cedex 01, France. P. Traissac, tel: 33 4 67 41 61 70 Tcopie: 33 4 67 54 78 00 Courrier electronique:

The purpose of nutrition surveillance is to provide regular, relevant and timely information for early warning of impending nutrition emergencies, for on-going programme management and for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes. This three week course, taught in French, is aimed at people dealing with nutrition surveillance in developing countries. Specific topics include:

· the causal approach to nutrition problems;
· concepts and methods in nutrition surveillance;
· lessons from the past;
· identification of users;
· set up of nutrition surveillance activities;
· indicators and the choice of indicators;
· from data to information;
· presentation and communication of information;
· evaluation.

Active participation will be emphasised through individual and group work, including case studies, computer practicals and computer-assisted learning.

This course is is jointly organised by ORSTOM (the French Research Institute for Development through Cooperation, Nutrition Unit, WHO collaborating center for nutrition, Montpellier, France), IMT (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nutrition Unit, Antwerp, Belgium) and the International Course in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Ghent, Belgium. For more information please contact Pierre Traissac, CISN, Montpellier 98, Laboratoire de Nutrition, Centre ORSTOM BP 5045, 34032 MONTPELLIER Cedex 01, France. Tel: 33 4 67 41 61 70 Fax: 33 4 67 54 78 00 Email:

IBFAN International Meeting on the Issue of Infant Feeding in Emergency and Relief Situations

Split, Croatia, 22-24 October 1998

This three day international meeting, facilitated by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), is targeted at NGOs working in humanitarian relief, funding agencies (governments, churches and others), UN agencies, recipient communities and other interested parties.

The major objective of the meeting is to ensure a consistent approach to infant feeding in emergencies globally. Specifically, the meeting aims to:

· raise the issues of infant feeding in emergencies higher up the agenda of all concerned organisations;

· raise awareness of key issues among international NGOs, humanitarian relief agencies and donor agencies;

· devise strategies to ensure that policies are transformed into action;

· form a working group to prepare a framework for future national meetings and for international consultation.

A number of issues will be addressed at the meeting, including:

· inappropriate donations of infant formula and baby food as aid;
· lack of awareness and implementation of existing guidelines;
· the impact of inappropriate infant feeding practices;
· lack of training of health and aid workers on infant feeding;
· training of trainers in the field;
· gaps in information and knowledge among NGOs and UN agencies working in emergencies.

For further information, please contact Margreet Houndijk, Wernos Foundation, P.O.Box 1693, 1000BR Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: 31 20 420 22 22 Fax: 31 20 620 50 94 Email: Web:

SEAMEO - TROPMED Short Courses

The SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Community Nutrition is a training and research centre for all South East Asian countries, located at the University of Indonesia. The SEAMEO-TROPMED Community Nutrition Training Programme consists of an MSc in nutrition (2 years), a Doctor of nutrition (3 years), a diploma programme in management of community nutrition (3 months) and a field research programme (6-8 months).

In addition, the SEAMEO-TROPMED Nutrition Training Programme offers several short courses on specific community nutrition topics aimed at improving the professional's knowledge and skills. For 1998-99, the following short courses are offered:

· Nutrition, aging and non communicable diseases (Aug/Sept 1998)

· Nutritional epidemiology (31 Aug -18 Sept 1998)

· Micronutrients programme (1 Sept -11 Sept 1998)

· ZOPP¹ and nutritional planning and management (21 Sept-9 Oct 1998)

¹Objective Oriented Program Planning (ZOPP - Ziel Orientierte Projekt Planning)

· Public health system and nutrition (12 Oct - 23 Oct 1998)

· Nutritional anthropology and communication planning for community nutrition programmes (23 Nov-18 Dec 1998)

· Food safety and food control (4 Jan-15 Jan 1999)

For further information and to obtain application forms, please contact the Training Programme Coordinator, The SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Community Nutrition, University of Indonesia, 6, Salemba Raya, Jakarta 10430, Indonesia. Mailing address: P.O. Box 3852, Jakarta 10038, Indonesia. Tel: 62 21 330205/3913932-3 Fax: 62 21 3907695/3913933 Email: or stropmed@rad.

Obesity: a Global Challenge
A British Council International Seminar 11-17 October 1998, Aberdeen

Directed by Professor P. Trayhurn and Professor W.P.T. James, this seminar is intended to provide an overview of our current understanding of obesity - its prevalence, causes, consequences - and examine strategies for treatment.

The main topics will include:

· public health (international perspective, health consequences);
· body fat (distribution, body composition, endocrinology);
· energy balance (food intake, dietary surveys, energy expenditure);
· causes (genetics, neuroendocrinology of feeding and ther-mogenesis);
· treatment (dietary, exercise, behavioural, pharmacological etc.).

The programme will be of particular interest to physicians and other health professionals such as dietitians, government policy-makers, and all those who confront the health implications of obesity in society.

The residential, fully inclusive fee is UK £1,490. For further information and a full prospectus, please contact the Information Manager, International Seminars, The British Council, 1 Beaumont Place, Oxford OX1 2PJ, UK. Tel: 44 1865 316636 Fax: 44 1865 557368/516590 Email: Further information, including an application form, can also be found on the Web at

The 16th Leeds Course in Clinical Nutrition 15-18 September 1998

This course is intended to provide a thorough grounding in all aspects of clinical nutrition and will appeal to clinicians, dietitians, hospital pharmacists, nursing staff, nutritionalists and others with interests in patient nutrition.

Lectures will include 'The effects of dietary changes in colonic diseases in Africa' by Dr A.R.P. Walker, Johannesburg; The psycho-biology of appetite' by Prof. J.E. Blundell, Leeds; 'Managing nutritional problems of patients with stroke' by Prof. K.W. Woodhouse, Cardiff; and 'Medical management of obesity' by Dr P. Kopelman, London. This year's mini-symposium is entitled 'Geographic trends in clinical nutrition'.

This course is approved for a total of 16 hours C.M.E. by the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Surgeons of England, and also has PGEA approval (17h A/B). Application forms and further information are available from Samantha Armitage, Course Secretary, Clinical Nutrition, School of Continuing Education, Continuing Education Building, Springfield Mount, Leeds LS2 9NG, UK. Tel: 44 113 233 3241 Fax: 44 1132333240 Email: Web:

The Doris Howes Calloway
Endowed Fund in Human Nutrition

In recognition of Professor Doris Howes Galloway's scholarship, research, teaching, and contributions to the field of human nutrition throughout the world, the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkleley, California, USA, has recently established the Doris Howes Calloway Endowed Fund in Human Nutrition. Perhaps best known for her research on protein and energy requirements in a career spanning 50 years, her research agenda has included topics ranging from protein metabolic pathways and space research to the composition of indigenous diets and food and nutrition policy.

The Fund will be used to support continued research and teaching in human nutrition. For further information, including details of how to contribute to the Fund, please contact Rosemary Lucier, Director of College Relations, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Tel: 1 510 643 8861 Email: lucier@nature.