I grew up in Germany and graduated as a medical doctor. During my time at medical school I got interested in international health and went to West and East Africa. In 1978 I was excited by the idea and the concept of the Alma Ata Declaration of Primary Health Care. After two years of postgraduate training I joined the German Volunteer Service and worked for two years in the primary health care programme of the then southern region of the Democratic Republic of Sudan, Kajo Kaji sub-district. This experience of primary health care, really oriented on empowering people with regard to health, determined my future career in paediatrics. This was before I joined the nutrition community, when I got my current post as a permanent professor of human nutrition with a focus on international nutrition.
I consider empowering people to overcome their health and nutrition problems as the only way to sustainably solve these problems. This in practice means to look at their resources and capacities first. Technologies are needed to make better use of the resources and help people to develop their potentials to the full extent.