Last Updated on 4 weeks by Riaz Hassan
Dietetics and Nutrition
The need for good and proper nutrition consultation and advice in our health facilities and community has never been higher. With the burden of NCDs and the high rate of premature deaths; our Dieticians are focusing more than ever before on more local fresh foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, physical activity and a reduction in salt, sugar and fat. With our limited number (62 Dieticians to our population of approximately 900, 000) and resources we look to the support of the other health workers and stakeholders (local and overseas) to help us achieve our health vision of a nutritionally well Fiji.
Dieticians are positioned to serve in the sub-divisional and Divisional hospitals around the country in the three broad areas below:
Clinical Dieticians stationed in Divisional Hospitals play a very important role in the health care team in providing nutritional care to patients in various states and conditions. Clinical Dieticians monitor, assess and optimise nutritional status based on the patient’s medical condition and /or nutrition adequacy. A patient’s medical/surgical and nutritional need is conferred with the physician, along with a recommendation for special dietary feeds. Patients are also taught by Clinical Dieticians on nutritionally sound food choices to prevent further complication of diseases, speed up recovery, restore good health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Public Health Dietetics
Public Health Dieticians are kept busy with the various nutritional programs that they carry out in the communities as listed below:
- The School Health program with focus on the nutritional status of primary school students across the country, school lunches, school canteens and school gardens.
- Maternal and Child Health focusing on the nutritional wellbeing of infants, children and mothers.
- Non Thrives Clinic addressing underweight and malnourished children with corrective nutritional activities to help monitor and improve their nutritional status and avoid micro nutrient deficiencies.
- Milk Supplementation program to help disadvantaged and malnourished children.
- Vitameals to complement children’s feeds.
- National Iron and Multi nutrient Supplementation programs.
- Baby Friendly Hospital Initiatives to maintain support and promote breastfeeding.
- Infant and Young Child Feeding program to help improve complementary feeding for children.
- SOPD Clinics in Health Centres and general Wellness Outreaches in the communities.
All the divisional and sub-divisional hospitals have varying amount of Food Services provided. With the ever-increasing burden of NCDs presenting to hospitals around the country, Dieticians responsible for food service have embarked on a “from supermarket to Market & Go local and Low Fat, Low Sugar and Low Salt” strategy in their efforts to educate and correct the populations eating pattern while in admission.