Health Ministry Re-Launches Dietetic and Nutrition Internship Programme


The Ministry of Health has re-launched its Dietetic and Nutrition Internship programme.
The fourth batch of interns were officially welcomed into the one year programme, at an orientation seminar, held at the Ministry’s King Street Offices in Kingston today (May 20). The programme was last undertaken in 1998. Programme Co-ordinator, Deon Bent explained that the internship sought to enable interns to integrate and apply nutrition intervention to promote optimum health for individuals or groups. The programme also seeks to provide competencies in the areas of nutrition, management, communication, education and professional conduct.
“The Intern is required to get hands-on experience in programme sections such as Food Services Systems Management, Clinical Nutrition, Community Nutrition, Professional Development and Research and Project Development,” Miss Bent further informed.
This year’s programme will consist of five female interns, who will be rotated in selected hospitals. The hospitals to which they will be rotated include the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee complex, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and the St. Ann’s Bay, Cornwall and Mandeville Regional Hospitals. This year’s interns include graduates with Bachelor of Science degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics, mainly from the University of Technology (UTech) and Northern Caribbean University (NCU).
Mrs. Bent noted that unlike previous years, a new rotation feature would be included. “This year we have added a new rotation in the form of Institution Care. This creates the opportunity to improve dietetic and nutrition services to areas such as nursing homes, prisons, hospices, children’s homes and schools,” she explained.
Director of Manpower Planning and Management, Pauline Roberts, brought greetings on behalf of the Health Ministry.
She noted that the re-launch of the internship programme signalled the Ministry’s commitment to enhance quality of life and promote the spiritual, physical and mental benefits of good health. Beverly Lee, President of the Jamaica Association of Nutritionists and Dieticians charged the interns to remain focused during the programme. “Remain focused in this long and demanding venture and seek to eliminate confusion. The nation awaits your skills,” she said.
Thirteen interns were trained in the three previous programmes. This year’s programme ends in May 2006.

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