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Department of Human Nutrition

Involvement with Diabetic Clinic, Steve Biko Hospital

The community development obligation of the Division of Human Nutrition is partly fulfilled by the participation of a staff member in the Diabetic Clinic of the Pretoria Academic Hospital on a weekly basis. A multidisciplinary approach is followed by a team consisting of the medical doctor, nursing staff, physiotherapist and dietician,  ensuring comprehensive treatment of patients. The involvement of the Division of Human Nutrition’s involvement in this clinic furthermore created the opportunity for students to execute a research project at the clinic as part of their undergraduate study requirements. An empirical observation made of patients attending the clinic is that, despite the education and advice patients receive, many of patients with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, have high blood pressure and lead sedentary lifestyles. This observation led to a collaborative research project to be done in the clinic between the Division of Human Nutrition, Department of Physiotherapy and Department of Clinical Epidemiology. The aim of the study is to establish the efficacy of a daily walk and diet intervention programme on the glycaemic control of patients as measured by the percentage glycated haemoglobin reflecting diabetes control over the past two to three months. Ethical approval for the project has already been obtained and it is foreseen that execution will start in 2006.