James Ntambi, professor in the departments of nutritional sciences and biochemistry, will be inducted into the Uganda National Academy of Sciences on Oct. 30. Since fall of 2002, Ntambi has led a program that takes undergraduates to Uganda to learn about nutrition and put what they learn into practice – an experience that brings new meaning to their education.
The program combines a semester course with a 3-week field experience in Uganda. During the fall course, Ntambi provides students with background information on the economics and health issues particular to Uganda, so that when students arrive they have a good grasp of the realities faced by Ugandans as they make their health and nutrition decisions. Students come to realize that necessities that many of us take for granted, such as clean drinking water, food, education, and financial resources, present daily struggles for the majority of Ugandan citizens.
One reflection of the program’s success is the Village Health Project, an effort started by students who returned from the program as a way to support health and nutrition work in developing countries and to increase awareness about international health issues on the UW-Madison campus and beyond.