IUNS and Emergency Nutrition Capacity Building in Sumatra - post-Tsunami: Project with Indonesian Ministry of Health and Andalas University Medical School
IUNS and Emergency Nutrition
Capacity Building in Sumatra — post-Tsunami: Project with Indonesian Ministry of Health and Andalas University Medical School, Padang, North Sumatra
I recently spent some time in Indonesia with the Chair of the IUNS Task Force, Professor Widjaja Lukito, who is also Immediate Past President of APCNS (Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society), considering the work of his Task Force and how it and IUNS-at-large might respond to the recent Asian Tsunami disorder, affecting principally Indonesia and the countries surrounding the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean (including Africa).
At the IUNS-APCNS International Clinical Nutrition Conference in Brisbane, August 2004, we had planned, with WHO, to run a series of training workshops in the WHO New Protocol for Emergency Nutrition, especially for young Asian and African Clinical Nutritionists. Unfortunately, WHO cancelled the arrangement shortly before the meeting. We now know how valuable that would have been in saving lives and reducing the overall suffering of people affected in the Tsunami.
Not only do we hope that, in future, the impact of such catastrophes will be reduced by better world eco-system management and regulations about appropriate urban development and tourism, but also through greater readiness in emergency nutrition and food programmes.
It was, therefore, most encouraging that, at a meeting with Dr Siti Fadillah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister, during my recent visit, it was agreed, in principle, that IUNS and APCNS would work with the Ministry of Health and Andalas University Medical School in capacity. The Minister is taking the next step in this direction by meeting with the Dean of Medicine, Professor Fadil Oenzil in Padang on 29th January 2005. A plan is being prepared for funding and future action. The IUNS Task Force, chaired by Professor Lukito, will work closely with the Minister and Andalas University. Fortunately, Professor Lukito is also now the Director of the Seameo-Tropmed Centre in Community Nutrition (for SE Asia), so that this can also play a part in the coalition. I am pleased to see “Nutrition Science in Action”! I hope all of this meets with your support. I intend to return to Sumatra in the immediate future.
Mark L. Wahlqvist AO, FTSE