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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

British Council and CNRST Researchers Links Programme workshop on Scaling Up Nutrition

Published: 14 May 2014
Dr Choi

The British Council launched a five-year Researcher Links Programme to encourage international research collaboration between ambitious young researchers from the UK and eighteen countries around the world.


As part of this programme Dr Sunhea Choi (pictured) and Trevor Pickup, the University of Southampton, UK and Professor Youssef Aboussaleh, the University of Ibn Tofail, Morocco, organised a bilateral workshop on Scaling Up Nutrition in Rabat, Morocco from 5 to 7 February 2014.

Forty selected participants, inclusive of the coordinators and 3 senior mentors (Professor Alan Jackson and Dr Steve Wootton, UK and Professor Abdellatif Bour, Morocco) were invited to the workshop. The aim was to bring nutrition scientists, educationalists and health practitioners from the two countries together and explore collaborative research opportunities. The expected outcomes for individual participants were that they would gain a clear understanding of the areas of research needed to move forward the management of malnutrition and under-nutrition in Morocco; improved understanding of opportunities for funding and bilateral collaboration in these areas; and an insight into the challenges faced by researchers and ideas on how these might be addressed.

For the longer term impact, the workshop aimed to make a major contribution to enabling Morocco to scale up its capacity to address malnutrition, to improve nutritional care and thus to achieve the national strategy; and forming stronger links between institutions and the countries, leading to long term research collaboration.

The workshop included a review of the nutritional landscape in Morocco, outlining the nutritional status of the population, capacity of health professionals and current nutrition research and progress. UK participants shared their experience of how the UK and other countries progressed and together with Moroccan colleagues explored how current and future research could address the key nutritional challenges in Morocco.

During the workshop, all participants shared their research interests and formed research groups around a number of potential research areas. Collaborative project ideas were emerged, and each group identified Moroccan and UK leads to ensure active involvement from both countries. The interactions in each group continued after the workshop and were accelerated by the funding opportunity offered by the British Council for follow-up activities.

In March the University of Southampton was awarded to support 5 activities, and they are as follows.

  • Dissemination activity to present the outcomes of the workshop at the ANEC VI (Aboussaleh Y1, Choi S2, Pickup T2, Wootton S2, Jackson A.A2 and Bour A1, 1: Ibn Tofail University, Morocco; 2: University of Southampton, UK)
  • Development of an on-line 24hr recall tool for estimating nutrient intake in the Moroccan Population (Almoosawi S1, Elhamdouchi A2, Darzi J3, Barouaca H4, Rguibi M4, Karim A4, Karani V5 and Elkari K2; 1: Newcastle University, UK; 2: Ibn Tofail University, Morocco; 3: Kings' College London, UK; 4: Moroccan Association for Health Education and Nutrition, Morocco; 5: Reading University, UK)
  • Nutrition and neurocognition workshop (Willaime-Morawek S1, Ghavami A2, Stalmach A3, Aboussaleh Y4, Achouri I4, and Boulbaroud S4; 1: University of Southampton, UK; 2: London Metropolitan University, UK; 3: Glasgow University, UK; 4: Ibn Tofail University, Morocco)
  • Nutritional status and lifestyle in school children in Morocco (Barouaca H1,2, Rguibi M2,3, Anzid K2,4 Moosawi S5, Karani V6; 1Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco; 2Moroccan Association of Health and Nutrition Education, Morocco; 3Chouaib Doukkali University, Morocco; 4Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco; 5Newcastle University, UK; University of Reading, UK.)
  • Assessment of sodium, potassium, iodine, and creatinine levels in Moroccan adults: a pilot study (Ellahi B1, Derouiche A2, Jafri A2, Kardi Y2, Sarkar S3; 1: University of Chester, UK; 2: University Hassan II Mohammedia Casablanca, Morocco; 3: University of Central Lancashire, UK
    The links formed from the workshop are tentative; however, with time and active engagement, these links will grow and become strengthened.



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