JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The launch of a competency-based training programme in dietetics and nutrition has been hailed by Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
  • Dr. Tufton explained that the programme is in response to the need to strengthen this area, as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a leading threat to Jamaica’s productivity and development.
  • The programme will facilitate professional-level certification for those practitioners who have not participated in such an internship.

The launch of a competency-based training programme in dietetics and nutrition has been hailed by Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

Speaking at the ceremony on June 3, in Kingston, Dr. Tufton said the programme is critical, especially at a time when nutrition-related chronic illnesses are ranking at the top of the disease profile in the country.

The Supervised Practice Programme was launched by the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), in association with the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Tufton explained that the programme is in response to the need to strengthen this area, as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a leading threat to Jamaica’s productivity and development.
“In 2010, the major NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers and lower respiratory illnesses, accounted for about 70 per cent of all deaths, and unhealthy diet is one of four main risk factors for these diseases,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that Jamaica has had limited cohorts of professional internships in dietetics and nutrition, resulting in a deficit in the number of professionals available to the health sector over the years.
“It is an established fact that the cadre of nutrition and dietetic professionals is suboptimal as was brought out in a recent audit of dietetic services,” he noted.

 

The Minister said that among the limitations of this chronic situation is the profession’s inability to respond to emergencies, crisis situations or an increase in requests from other sectors.

He cited residential care facilities and the school-feeding programme as two such areas that are in need of professionals in nutrition and dietetics.

The programme will facilitate professional-level certification for those practitioners who have not participated in such an internship.