Strengthening KHI capacity to contribute to the reduction of malnutrition in Rwanda

This project aims to strengthen the Kigali Health Institute (KHI) capacity to contribute to the reduction of malnutrition in Rwanda. Despite impressive economic growth over the past few years, malnutrition remains one of Rwanda’s most pressing problems. The most vulnerable groups include children under five years old and women of reproductive age. Almost half of the children under five are chronically malnourished.

Undernutrition may not always kill directly, but it can accelerate the rate at which they die from other diseases. In women, undernutrition leads to body weakness and reduced birth-rates. The Government of Rwanda has requested the Kigali Health Institute (KHI) to strengthen their BSc programme to train nutritionists, dieticians and nutrition educators.

Strengthening capacity

Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), the Department of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University, and the Faculty of Health Sciences of North-West University (South-Africa) partner in a four-year project (2013-2016) that aims to strengthen KHI’s capacity to deliver adequate human resources in nutrition, and in this way contribute to the implementation of the national nutrition strategy. The consortium offers an excellent combination of hands-on experience in nutrition and dietetics, competence based learning, curriculum development, gender, and development of applied research programmes in both clinical nutrition, dietetics and in community based nutrition.

Result areas

The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to an improved implementation of the national nutrition strategies. It has four main result areas:

  1. Strengthened capacity of KHI in nutrition and dietetics, and improved functioning of the centre;
  2. Adjusted BSc nutrition curriculum reflecting a competence based approach;
  3. An applied research programme in nutrition that is gender sensitive, and is based on community needs, national policy, and research priorities;
  4. Establishment of a nutrition skills laboratory and a therapeutic nutrition counselling centre, both for research and training purposes.

In all results areas special attention will be given to gender issues.

Inception phase

A workshop has taken place in 2013 in which all details of the project were discussed with the consortium members and the staff of KHI-Human Nutrition and Dietetic Department. It was the first time that all partners of the project came together and discussed the details on the implementation of the project. The output is an adjusted project proposal approved by all partners to work on for the coming four years.