Dietitians Association of Nigeria (DAN), an umbrella body for graduates with a qualification in nutrition and dietetics recognized by a national authority, has held it’s 2024 national conference.

The ceremony  took place in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Speaking on the occasion, the Imo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Prosper Ohayagha thanked the leadership of DAN for holding the conference in Owerri.

He said despite the abundance of nutritious and healthy foods, there was increased malnutrition in developing countries especially among poor economies, attributing it to over reliance on imported foods and sharp deviation from additional food habits which is usually based on locally available foods.

Dr. Ohayagha noted that the  theme of the conference; Navigating  Nutritional Challenges In A Depressed Economy Towards Sustainable Development Goals For Healthier Communities, was timely and aptly inline with the global concern on how to meet the challenge  of providing adequate and healthy food in the world while maximizing limited resources.

He encouraged the interns and other health professionals to take back the message of the conference to their various institutions and homes.

He said the Governor of the state, Hope Uzodimma was highly committed to issues of nutrition and wellbeing of Imo residents, having embarked on several interventions to curb the malaise of malnutrition.

Congratulating the new set of registered Dietitian- Nutritionists, Ohayagha  charged them to uphold the ethics of the profession and contribute their quota to the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

Earlier, the National President of Dietitians Association of Nigeria, Prof. Oliver Afam-Anene had expressed satisfaction that the conference would enhance the understanding of Dietitians on their job and enrich their competences for growth.

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Salisu Maiwada Abubakar  explained that the cost of a healthy diet had been steadily rising over the past six months, since December 2023  as it had increased by 32 percent to N1,041 per adult per day in May 2024 from N786 in December 2023.

According to him, Ebonyi, Abia and Anambra spent over N1,200 daily to afford a healthy meal in May 2024.

He said Kano accounted for the lowest costs with N898 followed by Jigawa with N899 while Yobe and Katsina accounted for N906.

Chairperson, Local Organizing Committee, Deaconess Uzoagba Henrietta said the conference brought together experts in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

One of the newly inducted Nutrition-Dietitians, Onyemauche  Julia, a graduate of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike advised Nigerians to practice home gardening so as to save the cost of purchasing every food item from the market.

Oguonu Chinaza, a graduate of University of Nigeria Nsukka said it was tough reaching  the level of induction and expressed delight that she could help plan diet for anyone with her qualification.

The highpoint of the occasion which was chaired by the Chief Medical Director of Federal University Teaching Hospital Owerri, Dr. Kingsley Achigbu (represented), was the induction of the interns and a presentation by AJINOMOTO Foods Nigeria Ltd., makers of AJINOMOTO Umami Seasoning Products such as Ma Dish, Deli Dawa and others.

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