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Kenya to train more nutritionists to address shortage

24 September 2016, 16:24

Nairobi -  Kenya plans to train more nutritionists in order to address shortage of the health professionals, officials said on Friday.

Kenya Nutritionist and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) Chief Executive Officer David Okeyo told a health forum in Nairobi that by the end of the year, Kenya will have approximately 10,000 nutritionists.

"However, in order to adequately serve the population we need some 60,000 nutritionists," Okeyo said during the KNDI Meeting on Disseminating of Rapid Assessment of Training Institutions.

The East African nation trains 600 nutritionists every year. "This rate is not enough to address the shortage, hence we will expand the number of universities and colleges that produce nutritionists," he said.

Traditionally, Kenya has maintained a low number of trained professionals due to negative public perception on the career.

"The general public considered nutrition as similar to cooking and this resulted in low demand for training in the sector," Okeyo said.

KNDI added that as a result of public awareness, many students are now applying to study as nutritionists.

Okeyo said Kenya requires an adequate number of nutritionists if it is to maintain a healthy population.

"Proper nutrition helps to boost immunity of populations and so reduces changes of getting opportunistic infections," he said, noting that lack of proper nutrition also partly contributes to the increase in the number of non-communicable diseases. 

- Xinhua


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