BASG wants Nutrition/Dietetics courses in Universities by FG

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By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
Bauchi state government has appealed to the Federal Government and members of the academia to facilitate the opening of Nutrition and Dietetics courses in the nation’s tertiary institutions, especially Universities up North where the scourge of malnutrition is mostly felt.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Halima Mukaddas described as commendable the role of Dietitians in the battle against malnutrition which signifies their position in the health team and their role in curative and prevention/promotion of health.
She said at the National Workshop/Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting of the National Institute of Dietetics holding at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi that efforts are targeted at reducing the incidences of malnutrition to the barest minimum in the state.
Dr. Halima Mukaddas explained that in order to produce the much-needed human resources for health for the provision of nutrition services that the state government approved the commencement of training in Nutrition and Dietetics at Diploma level in the College of Health Technology, Ningi, in the state.
These efforts, according to her, have started yielding results because the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate for the state from the recent Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)/National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Food Security and Livelihood Vulnerability Survey has shown significant drop.
Mukaddas stated further that the government in a bid to tackle the scourge of malnutrition set up a committee on Food and Nutrition and provided a budget line for nutrition activities, as well as domesticated the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN).
She said that in the same token, her ministry has allocated 30% of the State’ Saving One Million Lives Program for Result (SOMLP for R) funds out of the six other areas that will share the remaining 70%, a clear indication that Bauchi is positioning for great things in nutrition.
Dr. Mukaddas, while announcing N2.5 million government’s donation to the stare chapter of the Nigerian Dietetics Association to facilitate the hosting of the conference, urged participants to make use of the forum to cross fertilize ideas in the profession.
The National President of Institute for Dietetics in Nigeria, Dr. Grace Fadupin had in an address to the occasion, commended the Dietitians for their desire to ensure that Dietetic profession remains strong despite the crisis in the Dietetic Association family.
She enjoined dietitians to put in their best to forge ahead and maintain the highest standard of professional conduct and ethics of the association to achieve its vision and mission, stressing that nutrition emergency such as in risk context and children under five constitute the most vulnerable group that need urgent assistance.
Fadupin described as germane the theme of the workshop and conference “Combating Malnutrition in Children in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps through Appropriate Emergency Feeding Programmes” and “Metabolic Syndrome in the Contemporary Nigerian Society: Dietary Options”.
According to her, both are issues of Public Health concern requiring appropriate nutritional interventions of Dietitians to reduce high risk of morbidity and mortality in the Nigerian society, and commended the role being played by international organizations such as UNICEF in alleviating malnutrition among children and other vulnerable groups at the IDPs camps in Nigeria.

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