The Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition at North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa and the Nutricia Research Foundation has held a one-day symposium in Accra, under the theme “Advancing Nutrition Research through Capacity Building”
The symposium was aimed at creating a platform for Dieticians and Nutritionists to share information regarding research in Ghana and its neighboring countries.
Prof. Edelweiss Wentzel-Viljoen, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, presented some findings on how to train Dieticians and Nutritionists to address the needs of the community. She stated that the changes in the environment and the world over need a retraining of practitioners to address emerging problems with diet and nutrition.
She stated that to effectively address these emerging problems requires multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary approaches, but critical advice had to be provided by trained nutrition professionals with knowledge of the basic principles of nutrition and capable of identifying, assessing the nature of the problems at local level, and determining how these can be addressed.
The Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Ghana and Professor of Nutrition, Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu reported that only 1 out of 3 children in Ghana suffering from malnutrition received adequate medical attention. She also stated that 24% of all child mortality cases in Ghana were associated with malnutrition. She added that nutrition was a multifaceted subject and a holistic approach was required to deal with nutritional problems.
Professor Solomon F. Ofori-Acquah, Dean of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences said he was happy about the research and believed that research was the way to go in solving the issue of diet and nutrition in the country.
Rev. Professor Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, thanked the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition (North-West University) and the Nutricia Research Foundation for their collaboration with the College. He said research was very crucial in addressing most of the ills on the continent. The Provost expressed the hope that more of such collaborations would be made to help the continent and also to advance society.