World RDN Day
This year, 2nd
Wednesday in March, was set aside to celebrate the contribution of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to improving the health of clients and patients around the world. This year’s World Dietitians Day was celebrated in Nigeria on Wednesday 8th
of March, 2017 all over Nigeria. This year World RDN’s day, Nigeria Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist Celebrated the day so as to commemorate the dedication of RDNs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.
The day was jointly celebrated by Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist in Nigerian in their respective state chapters. Various states chapters organized activities to mark the day. State and regional chapters who participated included Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Lagos, Nsukka, Enugu and Calabar.
F.C.T chapter paid advocacy visit to the Executive Secretary FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) and to the Director of Hospital Services at Federal Ministry of Health. The aim of the visit was to clearly outline and emphasize the roles of Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists in the health sector especially at the Primary level of health care and to re-establish the need to recruit more Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists into the FCT-Board.
Outreach/Health Talks at Family Health care center Garki Abuja
As part of activities to mark the day, a health outreach was carried out to Family health care center. At the Primary Health Care (PHC), mothers were educated on the importance of Exclusive breast feeding and proper positioning and attachment. Mothers were given the opportunity to ask questions on issues surrounding breastfeeding. Breastfeeding Educative materials were distributed to mothers.
Outreach/Health Talks at Family Health care center Garki, Abuja by RDNs
Media Engagement and Coverage
The reporters of Capital Fm 92:9 and Armed Forces Radio 107.7 covered the event. The Major highlight of the event was aired doing 6: pm news on the 8th
of March 2017. In Lagos state, Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist were invited for life radio discussion on healthy eating.
Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists who are staff of University of Nigeria Nsukka and Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist in Enugu urban created more awareness and visibility wearing crested vests specially designed for the day on the importance of Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist in the health care sector and communities.
Advocacy visit to the Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State
Lecturers at the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, seized the opportunity to pay an advocacy visit to the Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to conclude arrangements for clinical posting of students and to sensitize the hospital community on the Dietitians Day.
Advocacy visit to the Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital
Outcome of the event:
- The Director PHC at the FCT-Board, promised to encourage the employment of more Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist once the opportunity arises. He also pledged his support to continue to support the work of Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist in FCT-PHC. He encouraged the Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists to be more focused in our work and be pro-active at all time.
- During the advocacy visit to the Director Hospital Services in Federal ministry of Health (FMOH), The Director pledged his support to the pursuit of the bill for the establishment of Dietitians Council in Nigeria. He further advised the executive members of Association to discuss with the Legal department of FMOH to know what they want in order to lobby for the Council Bill at National Assembly. He further recommended the need for top Level advocacy visit to be carried out to key stakeholders at the FMOH.
- At the Family Health center, the group Counseling/ discussion session with the mothers indicated an increase in knowledge on breastfeeding matters, about (50) Information and communication Materials were distributed to mothers on: How to breast feed (0 to 6months Baby), How to start complementary feeding etc. Key massages on nutrition and healthy eating was provided to primary school children who came to the facility for a visit.
In conclusion, the RDNs in Nigeria are working hard to merge into a single body (Association of Nigerian Dietitians) and this year’s joint national conference has been tagged “Unity Conference”. All Dietitians in Nigeria look forward to this merger because it will help facilitate a National Regulatory body for the profession which will open up a new horizon for the dietetics profession in Nigeria and put the profession on a more solid ground.
Dtn Nnaemeka Ubah
Events coordinator for Dietitians Association of Nigeria