Learn about a recent WHO internship experience

Internship summary

Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity programme

World Health Organization, Regional office for Europe

October-November 2013

I am currently completing my PhD-studies at the Public Health Epidemiology unit at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The main data source for my PhD-thesis is the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) in which I have also been involved in collecting data. Therefore I saw it as a great opportunity to do an internship at the WHO regional office for Europe where the project is managed. Further, I wanted to learn more about the important work that WHO does worldwide and get a chance to meet people from different countries with different backgrounds.

My main task during the internship was working with the COSI-project. The project involves more than 20 WHO European member states and aims to collect nationally representative data on overweight and obesity prevalence of 7-9 year olds. One of the tasks was assisting in reviewing the data sets provided by the participating member states. I also worked on a paper regarding non communicable diseases and the connection to children’s overweight and obesity in five countries.

I was also able to work with anthropometric data from Tajikistan which gave me an opportunity to broaden my geographical perspective and the age range I am most familiar with. It confirmed to me that across the WHO European region, there is a wide variety of nutritional issues.

Apart from learning a great deal from the tasks that I performed during my internship, I met so many interesting people from all over the world. I enjoyed the working environment in which you work close to colleagues with different personal and professional backgrounds, which can lead to many new ideas and future collaborations. The internship is something I will always remember and value as a great experience.

Lotta Moraeus
PhD student
Public Health Epidemiology Unit
Gothenburg University, Sweden