Department of Human Nutrition rocks Hammanskraal
By Dr Rendani Ladzani
Posted on 20 March 2012
Students teaching mother with young children the importance of healthy eating.
The fourth-year BDietetics students from the Department of Human Nutrition, as part of their 21 weeks of in-service training, provided community service at Rekopantswe and Mathibestad clinics from 10 May -14 October 2011.
A total of 18 students were involved under the guidance of Dr Rendani Ladzani, a lecturer from the department.
The Moretele subdistrict is very rural, with dirt roads, poor transport services, limited dietary diversity, a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and HIV/AIDS. During the seven-week service learning period, Dietetics students educated patients with NCDs, pregnant and lactating mothers, monitored growth of children under five, participated in breastfeeding week by training health care workers and clients.
Students identified needs at the communities and tried to addressed them. They identified a school with orphans and educated caretakers and teachers to improve the quality of school meals and food hygiene. Primary health care facilities in the rural areas do not have dietitians. Thus, the Dietetics students filled the service gap and thus added value to service delivery. The two clinics also had nonfunctional blood pressure measuring machines, the students managed to obtain sponsorship for five new machines from LifeMax. Clinic staff and management expressed their appreciation of the service provided by students during the subdistrict feedback meeting.
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