JAPINAD Celebrates 10th Anniversary
  • Country – CANDi     
    We were delighted to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD) during May 9-11, 2012 and to recognize this significant milestone with our colleagues, collaborators, supporters and friends with our motto: ‘Valued Experts in Nutrition and Dietetics’.  We were joined by colleagues from the Bahamas, Brazil, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
    JAPINAD was formed in 2002 following a resolution of the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) to form National Associations as branches of CANDi.  We now boast a diverse membership in excess of one hundred professionals who are also members of (CANDi), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Overseas Dietetic Association and the British Nutrition Society.   
    The week of activities commenced with a Church service and the conference opened on Wednesday evening to include our first Awards Ceremony and featuring the theme: ‘Nutrition in National Development’.  There were 8 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 Bronze awardees with ranges of 5 to10 years’ service and 3 for outstanding services as well as supporter awards to the National Health Fund, CHASE Fund, Abbott Laboratories/CARIMED, Grace Kennedy Foods and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute.  In view of Jamaica’s 50th Jubilee Independence celebrations, three Nutrition and Dietetics pioneers were recognized – Ms. Helen Fox, M.Sc, the first Dietitian in Jamaica serving at the Kingston Public Hospital and as the first Nutritionist in Public Health, Mrs. Gabrielle Peat, B.Sc, the first Nutritionist/Dietitian in Trinidad who worked in Jamaica at the University Hospital of the West Indies and in the community, and Mrs. Versada (Sadie) Campbell M.Sc, a founding member of CANDi who pioneered the fields of food science and nutrition education and well known in the Caribbean region and Internationally.   
    The Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Minister of Health, delivered the speech of the Guest Speaker, The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, who was unable to attend. The message bemoaned the health profile of the country with over 50% of women overweight/obese; the increased rate of chronic non-communicable diseases and the cost to the Government to treat these preventable problems through proper nutrition.

    Health Minister Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson (right) Tehuti Maat (Chairperson) and President Rosalee Brown
     Health Minister Hon. Dr. Fenton  
     Ferguson (right) Tehuti Maat
     (Chairperson) and President Rosalee

    Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, the Minister of Education, during his address, expressed concern about the unhealthy eating habits of the majority of our children and the role of school feeding program to give greater emphasis to nutrition.  Greetings from CANDi President Ms. Dianne Charles, was delivered by the Public Relations Chair, Mrs. Dorothy Graham Charles.
    The main presentation was made by Ms. Sharon Freitas from “The Centre of Excellence” in Brazil, a collaboration of the World Food Program and the Brazilian Government.  She shared the significance and process of the The ZERO HUNGER Program in Brazilian National Development and highlighted strategies we could adopt to advance our local nutrition program.

    Mrs. Dorothy Graham Charles bringing greetings  from the President of  CANDi       (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

     A diverse range of other presentations featured Environmental Trends  impacting Population Nutrition, nutrition readiness for emergencies in the Caribbean, effects of budgetary allocation on Medical Nutrition Therapy, physical recreation in cities, childhood overweight in Jamaica, the National Infant and Young Child Feeding Policy, nutritional status among  adolescents, research in the Caribbean & The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA),  lifestyle and wellness issues among army recruits, workplaces wellness, nutritional health of nutrition and dietetic professionals in Jamaica, achieving and maintaining nutrition and food standards, marketing foods to children, role of nutrition in alternative Medicine and nutrition for the elite athletes.
    The curtains came down on a very exciting and well attended conference as we formulated a resolution for Integration of Nutrition into National Development Planning, a document to be completed by JAPINAD.  The presentations were stimulating and the camaraderie was strong with never ending questions and robust discussions amongst the budding and seasoned professionals.
    Yvonne D. Davis
    CANDi Representative to ICDA