III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition was celebrated at Palacio de Congresos de Canarias

III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition was celebrated at Palacio de Congresos de Canarias

III World Congress of Nutrition and Public Health was celebrated at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, from the 9th to 12th 2014. More than 1,500 specialists from 90 different countries participated to address the most significant developments in nutritional epidemiology, functional food, infectious diseases and nutrition, nutrigenomics or the new indicators of malnutrition.

Luis Serra Majem, professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, explained that this was an important global event to discuss about international nutrition. The Congress had a stopover in The Gambia before arriving to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with previous activities scheduled at November from 6th to 8th that were later developed at the capital city of Gran Canaria.

Serra said The Gambia had been the chosen place for this initial phase of the Congress because ‘Nutrición Sin Fronteras’, president NGO, knows fairly well this country and its problems, even to build several centers to combat the countries’ malnutrition,


Implement CONIN model in Africa

Dr. Abel Albino, CONIN Foundation creator in Argentina and another member of the organizing committee accompanied Serra to the presentation of the principal axes that were addressed in Gran Canaria in November. A key one was how to implement the CONIN model in Africa, a project which achieved a great success in Latin America and which will move to the neighboring continent through the NGO ‘Nutrición sin Fronteras’.

Luis Serra explained that they have already built in this African country two centers that combine both care and treatment as the work of teaching and prevention. The first will take up to 50 women and their children, and the second one (in construction) will accommodate around 30 women and their descendants.

The jump from The Gambia to Las Palmas in the Congress Program explains the transition from cooperation and “the wish of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to become a true center of cooperation in food and nutrition with the African Continent”, stated Luis Serra.

CONIN was founded in 1993 in the city of Mendoza by Dr. Abel Albino, following the successful model implemented by Dr. Fernando Monckeberg in Chile, based on treatments centers. In Argentina, the Chilean model was complemented with prevention centers, becoming the worldwide first organization in preventing childhood malnutrition. It has 50 centers across Latin America working on the prevention and recovery of childhood malnutrition from three basic pilars: teaching, assistance and research.

According to Dr. Abel Albino, “during the first year of a child’s life a good feeding is essential (nutrition and stimulation) to reach its full potentials. If in the first two years of life there were serious deficiencies, the effects of malnutrition will be irreversible”.

A just born child’s brain weighs about 35 grams and at 14 months it gets to 900 grams, ie the (0% of an adult brain’s weight (1,200 gr). Dr. Albino explains that “this dramatic increase is because at this life stage is when neurons have their mayor interconnecting activity”. Each neuron can create 15,000 connections, depending on the nutrition and stimulation received. “When the child suffer malnutrition, these connections decrease to minimum and the skull is filled only with cerebrospinal fluid, resulting in mental weakness, an insufficient base for the development of basic skills and learning”, he says.