Country – Pakistan
Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society (PNDS) is a coalition of qualified people with an interest in nutrition and dietetics in Pakistan. It was founded and registered in 2003 as a professional society. The aim was to represent, promote and advance the science and profession of nutrition to achieve better nutrition status for the population in Pakistan through an organized and professional body.
General membership is open to all those with an interest in nutrition and dietetics but regular membership is entitled to those who have the necessary qualification. Every two years election is held for nine members to represent the executive committee. Currently PNDS has more than 300 regular members and many others who represent other membership categories.
Scope of Activities:
Since its inception PNDS has been involved in a wide range of professional activities such as:
Professional development of its members.
Nutrition education for health care professionals.
Nutrition awareness for the general public.
Active involvement in developing nutrition policy for the country.
Professional development related activities for PNDS members:
Continuing Nutrition Education for PNDS members: 6-8 sessions are held annually for PNDS members. However non-members may attend with a nominal fee. Wide range of topics in the field of nutrition and dietetics are covered with updated information.
Hands on Workshops: From December 2004 to July 2005, series of five workshops were held entitled 'Research in Practice: From Planning To Writing'. Two workshops were held on 'Nutrition Counseling Techniques' and further workshops are being planned to write review articles and articles for the lay public.
Nutrition Education Activities for Health Care Professionals:
Series of nutrition seminars have been organized for nutritionists, dietitians and other health care professionals with a major emphasis on nutritional concerns in various health conditions. Some of the topics covered in these seminars were:
Women’s Health including reproductive health, osteoporosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, eating disorders and breast cancer.
Nutrition and Non-Communicable Diseases including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease
Nutrition Activities related to Public Health:
World Days: PNDS conducts nutrition awareness activities for the general public and health care professionals on a regular basis to commemorate different 'world days' such as World Heart Day, World Diabetes Day and World Food Day.
Public Health Education: PNDS does not have the policy to provide individual or personal advice to any person or company; however it can be contacted to check the validity of nutrition claims made by food manufacturers, advertisers, TV presenters, cooking experts, and other professionals.
Health and Nutrition resources: PNDS has a website (www.pnds.org) and can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org PNDS also publishes a quarterly Newsletter which provides state of the art information on different nutrition related topics for members and other health professionals.
Participation in Nutrition Policy Development:
Recently PNDS was approached by the Government of Pakistan to represent on the Commission for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD's). This will ensure that the expertise of nutritional professionals are recognized when policies are formulated to prevent and reduce the burden of NCD's.
Pakistan Accreditation of Nutrition and Dietetic Professionals (PANAP):
In collaboration with College of Home Economics Karachi, PNDS has developed an accreditation program to certify practicing dietitians and nutritionists. PANAP ensures that there is a standard definition of different professionals in the field, eligibility criteria, qualification and required experience for different nutrition professionals before they are certified by PNDS. After extensive review of several international standards, PANAP determined the eligibility criteria for getting recognition as a nutrition professional and PNDS started registering Dietitians and Nutritionists on the basis of qualification and test in 2010. PNDS hopes to start registration of Diet technician and Nutrition Workers by 2012.
PNDS is an active member of Asian Federation of Dietetic Association (AFDA) and has regularly represented in all their meetings. Some of the PNDS members have also had the privilege of being invited speakers to their conferences. PNDS in 2010 was elected council member of AFDA. Two of the PNDS members serve as country representatives at American Overseas Dietetic Association. Thus PNDS is engaged in a wide range of activities in order to promote the field of nutrition in Pakistan and hopes to increase awareness for the public and health professionals in this area.
Prof. Dr Rubina Hakeem