• National Association Reports
    If it’s about Nutrition Ask your Dietitian
    Vol. 16 Issue 1
    Country: South Africa
    The past two years have been a remarkable period in ADSA’s history, with approximately 1200 members. Our VISION is to represent and develop the dietetic profession to contribute towards achieving optimal nutrition for all South Africans. 

    ADSA, as CPD accreditor, keeps our members up to date regarding advances in CPD via our monthly e-newsletter. The HPCSA (Health Professions Council of SA) receives information regarding activities on a monthly basis for viewing on their websites. The publication of the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition now has CPD activities online, on the journal website. ADSA is represented on several committees and forums.

    ADSA’s aim for 2007 and 2008 was to promote the profession of dietetics, and particularly the phrase “IF IT’S ABOUT NUTRITION, ASK YOUR DIETITIAN.” We embarked on a huge marketing campaign for both years. In 2007 we had streetpole ads in all the major centres for the whole of October. If the facility of streetpole ads were not available, newspaper marketing was done for the same period. For 2008 our association pamphlet was placed in all domestic flights. The Executive Committee strongly feels that we should make the public much more aware that qualified, registered dietitians are in fact the experts in the field of nutrition.

    Special projects over the past two years included the following:

    ** The start of the ADSA bursary fund, which is available to a previously disadvantaged student wanting to study dietetics. 

    ** ADSA Research Grant. This year the ADSA research grant for professional-specific research was awarded to a group of undergraduate students regarding personality-typing of dietitians and dietetic students.

    ** ADSA and the Nutrition Society (NSSA) were made aware of the fact that proposed amendments to the Medicines and Related Substances Bill had been published and, included in the amendments would be foodstuffs with a specific definition that would fall under the Medicines Bill. The foodstuff definition would include any food that made a ‘medicinal claim’. The term ‘medicinal claim’ however was not defined but it seemed, based on the definition of medicine, to be extensive and might well have covered a wide range of foods – even those in the mandatory food fortification programme. This would mean that these foods would become medicines and have to go through the whole process of registration. Together, ADSA and NSSA submitted a comment document to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and also requested to be given the opportunity to present at the public hearings on the Bill. It was clear that the intention of the Bill had not been to turn so many foods into medicines, but to rather tighten on the currently unregulated supplements market and in so doing had cast the net a bit wide. We are proud to say that the Bill has been redrafted and foodstuffs included in the bill will only be those that contain ‘a scheduled substance’. Not all foods are clear yet, but at least the definition has been significantly narrowed and ADSA can indeed be proud of the role that we played in achieving this. It is also worth noting that on 22nd August the Minister published proposed regulations relating to Complimentary and Alternative (excluding Traditional) medicines that will have a large impact on especially the supplements market and will bring these products under regulatory control. This is good news indeed.

    The Way Forward
    It is the passion of the current executive, to market ADSA as the nutrition experts.

    We would like qualified, registered dietitians to be the first point of reference with regards to food and nutrition. IF IT’S ABOUT NUTRITION, ASK YOUR DIETITIAN.