Dubai Health Authority (DHA)and the University of Atlanta have collaborated to provide paediatric nutritional diploma courses for DHA nutritionists.
His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA, said: “Nutrition is an essential field of medicine especially in today’s times when globally obesity levels are on the rise. Inculcating right nutritional habits should begin at a young age, so that we can protect our children from developing diabetes, childhood obesity and other lifestyle diseases. The DHA is keen to provide continuous medical education to its staff to ensure we adapt latest advances in medicine and provide our population with high-level of quality healthcare.”
He added that the DHA nutritionists who are presently working with DHA hospitals will join Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital once the hospital is operational.
He added that six nutritionists from the DHA will undergo a two-phase course in paediatric nutrition after which they will receive a diploma in paediatric nutrition issued by the American Association of Continuing Medical Education.
The course will be conducted across several Gulf Countries and is being sponsored by the Research Centre Europe – NNI and is organized by pinnacle health care.
The course will cover various aspects of childhood nutrition such as food allergies, immunity building through correct nutrition, breast milk and its long term benefits etc.
Nutrition and lifestyle education through community driven campaigns and workshops is an important part of the DHA’s community outreach strategy to empower the community to undertake right nutritional and lifestyle choices.
The DHA undertakes several such activities. In March this year, the Authority held a workshop for 400 teachers at schools to educate them about healthy nutrition.
The workshop included educating teachers about the food pyramid, what constitutes an ideal lunch box and how to raise issues of poor eating or unhealthy lunch boxes with parents.
Teachers were given several tips by DHA nutritionists to ensure that children in their class carry a healthy lunch box. Teachers were provided with various tips such as enforcing a symbolic fine of Dhs1 every time a child brings in something unhealthy, they were also advised to send notes to parents telling them not to put junk food in lunchboxes.