AUB Nutrition and Food Science Department Named as WHO Collaborating Center
|left to right: Heath, Wazzan-Jabri, Hwalla,
Abou Zeid, and Karam
AUB has chalked up another first for itself. The University has now been
designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the first WHO Collaborating
Center in Lebanon. This designation by the United Nations health agency
stands as recognition by WHO of the outstanding achievements of AUB's
Nutrition and Food Science Department in research, training, teaching,
On December 6 to mark the occasion, the Faculty of Agricultural and Food
Sciences held a ceremony in Issam Fares Hall, at which several members
of the attendees spoke to the gathered group of faculty and students attending
the event, including Provost Peter Heath, Hussein Abu Zaid, the WHO Country
Representative, Dean Nahla Hwalla of FAFS; and Farid Karam, representing
the Ministry of Public Health.
Hwalla talked about the growth and progress made over the years by the
faculty and staff of the NFS Department in their teaching, research and
service, and remarked on the superior quality of its graduates. She said
the department is highly recognized for its research and publications,
and noted the valuable collaboration of the Ministry of Public Health
and its contributions to the public health welfare of Lebanon.
On the occasion, Hwalla also paid tribute to a former graduate of AUB,
Swasan Wazzan Jabri, the co-owner and general manager of the Nutrition
and Diet Center in Lebanon, who was recently awarded the Bahraini Prize
of Innovation and Excellence.
Wazzan Jabri was the first to launch a nutrition and diet center in Lebanon
that provides diet therapy and diet food catering to clients. The center
has now expanded in the region and has opened branches in Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, and Qatar.
In his address to the gathering, Hussein Abu Zaid, the WHO Country Representative,
outlined the criteria that apply in the selection of an institution for
designation as a WHO Collaborating Center: the scientific and technical
standing of the institution, the quality of the institution's scientific
and technical leadership, the working relationship that the institution
has developed with other institutions, and the ability and readiness of
the institution to provide services over a sufficient period of time.
Farid Karam, representing the Minister of Public Health of Lebanon, talked
about the successful collaboration between AUB's NFS Department and the
ministry and further acknowledged Hwalla's significant contributions to
the field of nutrition and food science through the development of new
policies and government licensing for dietitians.
Provost Peter Heath spoke of the success of the University's two academic
programs in nutrition and food science and the quality of AUB's graduates.
The new WHO Collaborating Center will address issues related to the health
and well being of the people of Lebanon by addressing important nutritional
problems in the community. Through its integrated structure in research,
teaching, resources, and outreach, it will serve in achieving the University's
goals and those of WHO. It will assist in the collection and dissemination
of information on health, illness, and risk factors, thus enhancing and
enriching the abilities of the University to better serve the country
in the areas of food and nutrition.