Responding to Chronic Malnutrition
45% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition in Zambia (WHO 2017). The country is also experiencing a rise in obesity, diabetes and cancer. Zambia is critically short of nutritionists and dieticians. In partnership with the University of Zambia, THET has started the country’s first training programme for nutritionists. The BSc & MSc in Human Nutrition will train a new generation of nutritionists and dieticians to tackle Zambia’s urgent need to reduce chronic malnutrition. To date 22 students have graduated and are working to improve nutrition in hospitals, health centres and the community. Ensuring better health for all.
“Our role is management of severely malnourished children and also managing NCD’s – non-communicable diseases, for example cardiovascular diseases. You help plan for the meals of the patients. You make sure that you conduct nutrition assessment. You go out to the communities. You also make sure there’s nutrition education in all the wards and counselling to all the primary caregivers. For example, in the maternity wards you do counselling about breastfeeding. In the children’s wards, it’s infant and young child feeding that you counsel the mothers on.
There are a lot of skills that I have gotten from the course. To give an example, a client with diabetes comes in. Before I would just give them a list of the food. But now I am able to plan a meal for them according to their requirements - the amount of carbohydrates, the amount of proteins that they need, the amount of fats and vitamins - and prepare a medical report. In nutrition education, I am able to do that for a group of people”