BiZiFED trial of biofortified wheat has begun in Pakistan

In a previous blog in March 2017, we announced that Professor Nicola Lowe had received a £300,000 grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate whether a newly developed strain of biofortified wheat could increase dietary zinc intake in Pakistan. The project is to be known as BiZiFED – biofortified zinc flour to eliminate deficiency. We plan to publish regular blogs so that you can share our excitement about this project, which has the potential to improve the lives of women and children in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The project was officially launched at a meeting in Islamabad in June 2017 with our partners from the University of Nottingham, the Abaseen Foundation, Khyber Medical University and Fauji Fertilizer Company.

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The new zinc-rich wheat was developed by HarvestPlus using traditional plant breeding techniques known as biofortification. Since it was approved for use in Pakistan, our colleagues have grown the wheat crop, harvested the grain and milled the flour. The zinc content of the crop was further enhanced using zinc-rich fertiliser and tests have confirmed it has double the zinc content of standard varieties. The next job is to test how well the zinc is absorbed and the impact on zinc status in the body.

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A double-blind randomised crossover trial has just begun and will continue until February 2018. Fifty households have been recruited from the brick kiln communities around Peshawar in North West Pakistan. These are among the poorest communities, with very high levels of zinc deficiency and stunting. Each household will receive a free supply of flour for the duration of the trial. They typically use flour to make chapattis every day. In the first 8-week period, 25 households will receive zinc-rich flour and 25 households will receive ‘control’ flour with standard zinc content. In the second 8-week period, they will swap and receive the other flour. This design will enable repeated measures of zinc status, with each household serving as its own control.

An important aspect of this research is developing techniques and biomarkers for measuring zinc status in the human body. Women and will provide blood, stool, nail and hair samples at each data collection time point, well as completing 24-hour dietary assessments. A continuous process of community engagement will ensure that everyone is aware of why these samples are being taken.

We will update you when the trail is complete. The next stage will be qualitative research to explore what farmers and families think about the new zinc-rich wheat.

 

 

 

 

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Lancashire Science Festival 2017

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Last month UCLan hosted its sixth annual Lancashire Science Festival, which came back bigger and better this year, with a huge variety of shows, exhibitions and workshops to inspire young people about the real life applications of science.

Our School is largely involved with the festival where our staff and students coordinate the #SkillZone and run a variety of workshops and drop in sessions such as ‘Operation!’, ‘Outbreak’, ‘be a Paramedic’, ‘Children’s nursing’, ‘Become a mummy’ and ‘Mental health and well being’. We worked alongside local Ambulance, Fire and Police services who set up a crash scene in Harrington car park.

In the Sports Hall in STFSC we hosted a dress up station where hundreds of people had their photos taken as healthcare professionals, whilst the Stroke team, Lancashire Care NHS Trust and Comensus all had their own stalls throughout the 3 days.

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There was approximately 10,000 people that attended over the 3 days and the Festival as a whole has won the Heist award for best community engagement project. We have received fantastic feedback from people who attended which was all down to the staff and students that were involved, going above and beyond to make the #SkillZone, workshops and sessions such a success.

We are always looking for people to help out with the Science festival, email ejones14@uclan.ac.uk if you are interested, want any information or have any ideas for the festival for next year! The Science Festival can really showcase what we do as a school and also as Healthcare professionals to children who may want to go into the profession and is always a lot of fun!staff

 

Open day events in June

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Come and attend the UCLan open days which are being held on Friday 23rd June and Saturday 24th June. The events are open between 9am-3pm.

The main registration for the June Open Days will take place in the Atrium, with “Talk to a Tutor” stands in Venue 53.

On the day you will be able to talk to the tutors about the subjects you are interested in, you will be able to see the clincial skills labs & breakout rooms.

Main Talks are in Harrington Lecture Theatre

You can attend these talks between:-

09:45 – 10:30

11:00 – 11:45

13:00 – 13:45

 

Skills Labs & Break Out Rooms

Drop in sessions are avaialable throughout the day, come and speak to the Lecturers about the specific field of nursing you are interested in and see our amazing facilities.

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Adult field

Mental Health field

 

There will be a number of fun activities taking place and a variety of food stalls, plus live music.

 

Book here to attend the Open Days at UCLan

UCLan Midwifery #Challenge10 Zumbathon

On Sunday 30th April UCLan Midwifery held the second event of #Challenge10 to raise money for SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

Student midwife Sabrina Rojas organised and planned this event, which included glow sticks, cake stalls, face paint and a sports massage stall! The zumbathon was a huge success, with the exact total raised still to be confirmed, although it is thought that over £900 was raised.  SANDS provides bereavement support to families affected by stillbirth and neonatal death in addition to essential research in an attempt to reduce the number of babies who die.

A huge thank you to everyone who attended this fantastic event and to those who contributed to the day, we are very grateful!

Please join us for the remaining #Challenge10 events:

10th June – #Yorkshire3Peaks

1st July – Manchester Colour Run

12th August – Swimathon (Salford Quays)

9th September – Born Survivor!

31st October – Bikeathon

18th November – Charity Ball

18th December – Cake bake sale

If you would like to sponsor us or would like further information, please contact:     LKirk-Batty@uclan.ac.uk (midwifery lecturer)

 

Service User and Care Congress Day

On March 29th 2017, Comensus, UCLan’s service user and carer group held its bi-annual Congress day. The theme, challenging prejudices, has been one that characterised Congress Days for over 10 years; the type of community groups that delivered workshops this year reflected this. Comensus worked in partnership with local community groups and had members talk from their own personal experience in seminars covering topics such as HIV, young people’s suicide, head injuries, sexual abuse, laryngectomy, addiction to substances, transgender issues and life as an ex-offender. In addition, Comensus facilitated three group visits to the Traveller site adjacent to the UCLan’s main campus.

The ethos for the day was about challenging prejudice by students working with groups and hearing their stories, each group spoke on the issues they face in an honest and clear way. One student commented on the Laryngectomy workshop saying;

“‘K’s’ presentation was highly educational on so many levels. It was very informative – factual and personal. Having the chance to hear directly from ‘K’, who spoke so honestly and with such clarity and humour, watching the screen presentation gave me some insight into aspects of living with laryngectomy and how this can affect both the person and their loved ones.”

The student who attended this workshop told Comensus they would contact the trainers of the First Air course from their organisation to include a clear message to check whether the person in need of First Aid breathes via nose or neck and how to provide emergency treatment accordingly.

Another really important impact!

Another student gave feedback saying;

“Thank you for yesterday and my place at the Congress event, with Comensus. What a worthwhile day.”

We hope everyone who attended the Congress will continue to challenge prejudice.

If you want to leave any feedback comment below

 

Professor Nicola Lowe gains research funding into BiZiFED biofortified zinc flour to eliminate deficiency

 

dr_nicola_loweUCLan Nutritional Science Professor Nicola Lowe has been granted £30,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate whether a newly developed strain of bio fortified wheat could increase dietary zinc intake in Pakistan. According to the World Health Organisation, dietary zinc deficiency is a global problem affecting 17% of the world’s population, with the greatest burden in developing countries. The most recent national survey in Pakistan indicates that over 40% of women are zinc deficient, compared with less than 15% in Europe and North America. The consequences of zinc deficiency are profound and far reaching, ranging from stunted growth and development in children, increased susceptibility to infections in children and adults and complications during pregnancy and childbirth.  This has a negative economic impact on the family, the community and the region.

The study is a collaboration with plant physiologist, Professor Martin Broadley at Nottingham University, as well as research partners in Pakistan including the Abaseen Foundation and Khyber Medical University and Fauji Fertilizer Company. The research will focus on families in a North West Pakistan rural community who will spend eight weeks eating the new strain of wheat grain growth in zinc rich fertilizer compared to standard grain to assess whether it increases zinc content in the body. The team will monitor the participants by testing hair samples and blood plasma as well as exploring new techniques to evaluate zinc levels. They will also look at hoe culturally acceptable bio fortification is within rural communities and key stakeholders including farmers.

School of Nursing shortlisted for Nurse Education Provider of the Year award

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Now in their 6th year, the Student Nursing Times Awards are the only awards to celebrate the very best in student nurses and nurse education. The School of Nursing here at UCLan are proud to announce that they have been shortlisted for the Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Pre – Registration) category.

This award will recognise those universities that offer high standards of academic and practical teaching and excellent resources.

On 27th April Dr Karen Wright Head of School of Nursing, Dr Nigel Harrison, Exec Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing and colleagues will be travelling down to London Hilton for the award ceremony. They have been shortlisted according to a range of criteria which includes being an outstanding educational institution offering a nursing course and demonstrating excellence in a range of areas. These areas include being an educational environment that nurtures, supports, motivates and inspires as well as supporting students emotionally and practically during their course of study. Also developing and upholding the professionalism of nurses and ensuring they understand and adhere to the NMC Code of Conduct.

The school was nominated by a member of Comensus who recognised the valuable investment that the school and its students play in contributing to the nursing profession. Additionally, our student president Reece Doonan and Emma Jones a lecturer in the Mental Health team gathered the evidence to support the positive experience they had encountered within the School of Nursing.

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Call for participants

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Research project title: Learning from elite athletes’ mental health experiences

My name is Florence and I am currently a PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire. As part of my PhD, I am conducting a study aiming to broaden our understanding of mental health issues in elite sport from elite athletes’ perspective. I am particularly interested in examining what issues they have encountered, how it was diagnosed and how they have dealt with it.

For this project, I am, therefore, looking to interview participants who have experienced mental health issues (for which they have been formally assessed and diagnosed) during or immediately post their career, and who were performing their sport at an elite level.

The interview is composed of approximately 8 questions and should last about 90 minutes. This project has received ethical approval from the UCLan Ethics Committee for Business, Arts, Humanities and Social Science (BAHSS No 395) and I will be happy to meet you at any convenient time and location for you if you are interested in taking part in our study.

For more information about this project, a detailed information sheet has been attached to this post.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this information and for considering taking part in our project.

 Learning from elite athletes_ mental health experiences – Information Sheet

Best Regards,

Florence Lebrun

flebrun@uclan.ac.uk

PhD student

Institute of Coaching and Performance

School of Sport and Wellbeing

University of Central Lancashire

Three Peak Challenge

On the 10th June 2017 students and staff from the University of Central Lancashire assisted by 3 Medical Regiment and 64 Medical Squadron will be undertaking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. This will be the fourth time they have organised the event. In previous years 100s of students and staff have attended raising thousands of pounds for charity. The Challenge involves walking twenty four miles incorporating the three mountains; Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Last weekend they completed the second practice walk, completing Whernside and Ingleborough, in the snow.

 

UCLan Health Professor recognised by the Stroke Association

One of our very own Caroline Watkins has been honoured wiprofessor_c_watkinsth a special recognition award by the Stroke Association. She received this award at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford last September.

Caroline is the only professors of her time working as a professor of stroke and older people’s care. She leads one of the largest stroke care and research teams in the UK and has been working in stroke research for 20 years, striving to improve the quality of care  within this region.

She was delighted to be awarded saying ” It is truly fantastic to receive this award personally, and on behalf of my team. Both myself and my team are committed to trying to prevent this devastating condition and to reducing the impact of stroke on people’s lives”.

However she still showed her modesty on receiving this saying “We can’t do this alone, and work very closely with some amazing people. It’s because of the stroke specialist and stroke relevant staff who work along the stroke care pathway, and of course numerous people who have been patients or carers, without whom we wouldn’t be sure we were doing things in the right way at the right time”

Well done to Caroline and her team, truly deserving of this award. To find out more information on these awards visit https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-we-do/life-after-stroke-awards