4th Biannual Meeting and Training Week 5

4th Biannual Meeting, Training and Capacity Building Workshops (April 8th – 13th 2019, UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The setting for the 4th Biannual Meeting was the Pre-Clinical Block of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center. This impressive complex of state-of-the-art medical, health, and academic buildings was the perfect setting for the consortium to develop its plans for launching the Training Workshops in Malaysia and Thailand over the next few months.

On Day 1, Capacity Building sessions were conducted to develop three key skills: Pedagogical skills using technology was conducted by Dr Helmi Norman (UKM) to give a hands-on demonstration of how to use connected tablets (he sourced iPads for everyone) in a classroom for creation and collaboration. The second skill was Implementation of Contents and Media on the ENeA SEA moodle platform, led by A/Prof Azmi Tamil (UKM) to teach the eLearning board how to upload items into the moodle platform. Lastly, an afternoon workshop on qualitative research skills was conducted by Prof Ng Chirk Jenn (UM) and Dr Lee Yew Kong (UM) in preparation for the Evaluation Workpackage activities.

Day 2 was a grand affair with the hosting of the Public Symposium titled “The first 1000 days: Nourishing South-East Asia’s Future” and a hi-tech introduction video prepared by UKM was followed by four important lectures on “Nutritional intervention in preterm infants for better neurodevelopmental outcomes” (Dr. Chatchay Prempunpong, MU), “Nutritional sufficiency for improved cognitive development in children” (Dr. Oraporn Dumrongwongsiri, MU), “Engaging teenagers in improving their nutrition and health behaviours” (Prof. Keith Godfrey, UoS) and “Digital Distance Learning in Perinatal Nutrition” (Prof. Berthold Koletzko).

At this advanced stage of the project, business meetings over the next two days (Days 2-3) under the project General Assembly were important opportunities to talk about issues like the new module on Complementary Feeding (led by CU), budget tracking, sustainability, exploitation and language translation for increased reach in the region. Some key points like the need to strategise to reach other Southeast Asian countries were brought to the consortium’s attention.

Days 3-4 covered a lot of preparation groundwork for the coming months as teams of participants worked on developing Teaching Class Pilot programs tailored to their own syllabus and settings. These were important as we plan to launch teaching classes locally in Malaysia and Thailand to introduce the ENeA SEA Modules to key academicians, policy makers and healthcare providers.

Finally on Day 5 (Friday), the creative work was not done as there was a brainstorming session on what a Customised Curriculum Route should look like. Prof Stefan and Dr Gabi (UPB) who were in charge of the Mass Customisation workpackage were busy taking pictures and notes to capture the various ideas and concepts. This work continued with a smaller sub-committee meeting on Day 6 to fine-tune the mass customisation concept and deliverables. The closing by UKM was followed by a welcome to Bucharest by UPB where the next Summer School will take place in July.

In summary, the project is gearing up for launching the ENeA SEA modules to the larger pediatric nutrition communities, not just in Thailand and Malaysia, but with strong interest to reach other regional countries.