Led by Dr Jacqui Miller, the Nutrition and Dietetics department recently hosted a prestigious Australia Awards Fellowship, building capacity in Indonesia for clinical placement education and health service provision in the areas of maternal and child nutrition and chronic disease management.
The Fellowship entitled ‘Improving health by capacity building of the nutrition workforce in Jogjakarta (Indonesia)’ saw 15 fellows gain valuable knowledge to implement in their home country. Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. Australia Awards Fellowships build capacity and strengthen links between Australian organisations and partner organisations in eligible developing countries to support key development and foreign affairs priorities. By providing short-term study, research and professional development opportunities in Australia, mid-career professionals and emerging leaders can tap into Australian expertise, gaining valuable skills and knowledge.
We are pleased to say that the Fellowship was a huge success, largely due to the sites who hosted our visitors for placements. We would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to people who contributed to the course. The course was followed-up by a visit from five university staff and clinical dietitians to Jogjakarta in April, to provide further support and ongoing collaboration.
Projects that have arisen from the Fellowship include the development of modules, learning systems and assessment methods for the Dietetic Internship Program; development of a paediatric menu at UGM Hospital and plans for the establishment of a new in-house food service system; establishment of a new oncology outpatient service at Dr Sarjito Hospital; strategies to address breastfeeding support in local puskesmas (village community health centres); and a strategy to protect school children from the high incidence of food poisoning associated with unregulated food vendors as well as improve nutrition education for school children.
We are thrilled with the outcomes of the visit and heartened by our ability to be a catalyst for these significant changes. We have applied for further rounds of funding to repeat this course in different areas of Indonesia.