HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF KNDI
Hon. Prof. Julia Ojiambo
Former & First Chairperson, KNDI
KNDI Council welcomes you into the profession of nutrition and dietetics in Kenya with unique legal framework. The Kenya Nutrition and Dietetics Institute was established by an Act of Parliament No.18 of 2007 (CAP 253B), to provide for training, registration and licensing of nutritionists and dieticians, to provide for the regulation of the standards and practice of the profession to ensure their effective participation in matters relating to nutrition and dietetics and for related purposes. The Act provided KNDI with a governance structure of a Council and Council Committees namely: Accreditation, Registration and Disciplinary.The Act also specified functions of the Council.
Currently, KNDI is the only such legal-framework in the Africa Region, designed to comprehensively and inclusively handle issues related to food, nutrition and dietetics for the improvement of the well-being of humanity. KNDI endeavors to use all the existing indigenous sciences and new sciences & technologies to delve into the knowledge of food, nutrition and dietetics to tackle the effects of food, nutrition and dietetics on the well-being of humanity in the midst of changing socioeconomic, climate, urbanization, migration, attitudes, domestic violence among other factors, in order to create powerful ideas towards improving people’s health.
The Council acknowledges that its core mandate is to train professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics. In Kenya, these professionals were previously not well embraced in the country's human resource departments. The Council upon realization of this, moved quickly to harmonize the existing training programs that were scattered and uncoordinated in Training institutions across the Country.
KNDI put together a core–curricula and designed Standard Operating Procedures composed for licensing and indexing of students. In regulation of the practice and private business, the council has made tremendous move to register and retain about 5000 professionals. KNDI has also so far indexed about 4000 students (as at MAY, 2017), as students pursuing nutrition and dietetics subject at different levels. Previously, KNDI awarded Weetabix Company a license for meeting standards of process value chain which shall be followed by product endorsement based on KNDI quality assurance Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs). Other food industries are expected to follow soon to ensure compliance. KNDI regulates the profession and shall continue to offer the practitioners continuous professional development opportunities to keep them abreast with fast changing professional practice endeavors and environment.
The Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) is established by the Nutritionists and Dieticians Act No. 18 of 2007, with specific mandates to: “Provide for the training, registration and licensing of nutritionists and dieticians; provide for the regulation of the standards , and practice of the profession; and to ensure their effective participation in matters relating to nutrition and dietetics, and connected purposes.” However, KNDI is conscious that without a strategic plan, it would be like a ship sailing in deep blue sea without radar. The Institute designed and implemented the years 2012 – 2014 Strategic Plan, through which it was able to make visible achievements that are now currently well documented.
The 2015 – 2020 Strategic Plan as presented here is intended to provide a similar road map for even higher success. It was developed by a team comprising of: the members of the KNDI Council; the Chairs of the Accreditation, Registration, Disciplinary Committees; and the KNDI Secretariat technically guided by a Maer Associates consultant. The Plan details how between the year 2015 and 2020, KNDI will work to optimize its operations inline with the Nutritionists and Dieticians Act No.18 of 2007 (the KNDI Act). The Institute, through its Council will endeavor to support the achievement of its activities to advance KNDI’s organizational development and resource mobilization for the sustained growth of the Institute’s operations. Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute, is therefore strategically well positioned to effectively pursue its mandate.
KNDI will work to harmonize its approach in order to deal with the emerging Nutrition challenges such as Non Communicable Diseases, even as it continue to seek innovative solutions for the traditional nutritional problems that cause many Kenyans ill-health. The new Strategic Plan sets out a plan of work activities for each year in a very systematic way, and specific targets for the Institute to achieve in the pursuit if its primary goal for existence.
Good nutrition is a prerequisite for the national development of countries and for the well-being of individuals. The 2010 Constitution of Kenya recognizes adequate food and nutrition as a human right. It states that every person has the right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food of acceptable quality (Article 43) and that every child has the right to basic nutrition (Article 53). Furthermore, the Government of Kenya’s 2011 Food and Nutrition Security Policy states that nutrition is central to human development in the country (Government of Kenya, 2011).
KNDI therefore dutifully and with great hope looks forward to continuing collaboration with all those who practically promote the nutrition status and the well–being of the Kenyan People.