Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) has been implementing a competency-based internship programme throughout the country. In 2015, the KNDI Ageng’a Postgraduate Accreditation Academy was set up in Samia Sub-County, Busia County. So as to provide a wide variety of opportunities to graduate students to build their professional expertise in the area they have chosen to serve as professionals either in Community Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition, and Food Service Diet Therapy disciplines. The one (1) year competency-based training provides the postgraduate interns with the requisite skills, and expanded knowledge base, experiential background. This programme also enables them score Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points from a range of competency areas necessary to function as entry level nutritionists or dieticians with a well-defined professional niche. The Internship program while equipping the interns with key competency areas in research methodologies, monitoring & evaluation techniques, surveillance techniques, programming techniques and epidemiology skills wrought a change in the community as well. There was marked improvement in food security in households, and an improvement in the nutrition status of children under five in the community. In 2019, The Ageng’a postgraduate Accreditation Academy, changed to Ageng’a Training and Research Institute and was registered. ATRI-PLC will therefore focus to transform livelihoods through speedy, efficient, inclusive & sustainable development fits right into the Kenyan nutrition agenda. The programme will establish long term linkages with various Counties that will improve food security and contribute to universal health coverage.
Food Security will focus on the definition of The World Food Summit’s 1996 i.e. “Access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets the dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life .” and shall be anchored on four pillars; accessibility and availability. ATRI-PLC will improve food security through financial inclusion, youth empowerment programme focusing on agriculture, aqua-culture, SMART agriculture and exchanged programmes and entrepreneurship.
ATRI-PLC will support counties in the development of sustainable health systems, where the focus will not only be prevention and treatment of disease and illness, but on helping to improve well-being and quality of life. The proramme will focus on integration of essential health services in primary health care especially to all, with focus on the most deprived and marginalized. The World Health Organization uses 4 categories of essential health services, as indicators in the Level and equity of universal health coverage . ATRI-PLC will therefore support two components. The first will dwell on Maternal, New born & Child Health (Breastfeeding counselling, dietary counselling, management of acute malnutrition and provision of micro-nutrient supplements. The second will concentrate on key preventive measures towards non-communicable diseases by educating the community on healthy lifestyle beginning with health diets.
The model of implementation will include placement of Interns in various centers in the County, where they shall help in providing nutrition care to patients in facilities but will also be engaged in community sensitization forums on different health issues. Other approaches shall include training of Community health workers (CHWs) on key nutrition interventions and Monitoring and Evaluation of food security programs implemented in the counties.