20 October 2020, Tuesday – Eminence and BCSNPN organized a webinar titling “1st National Consultation Meeting”, on the topic “Nutritionist and Dietician’s Profession: Code of Ethics and Standards”.
Former Director General of DGHS, Professor Shah Monir Hossain; Director General of BNNC Dr. Md. Khalilur Rahman; Former Director General of BNNC Dr. Md. Shah Nawaz; Member of BM&DC Professor Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed; Line Director of NNS Dr. Mustafizur Rahman, Country Director of Alive & Thrive in Bangladesh Dr. Zeba Mahmud; Professor of INFS, DU Dr. NazmaShaheen, President of Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum ToufiqMaruf; and Professor and Head of Pediatrics Department, ICMH Dr. WahidaKhanam were present as panel speakers in the webinar. The meeting was moderated by the CEO of Eminence Dr. ShamimHayderTalukder.
The concept-note of the webinar focuses on the fact that, every year roughly 300 nutritionists graduates from different institutions and universities and seeking to work in the development sector, UN agencies, donor organizations, and hospitals, or become private practitioners. But there is no regulatory authority in place to ensure the quality, especially those working in the hospitals as Dieticians. There is no existence of any comprehensive guidelines as well to define the roles and functions of dieticians. Moreover, the professionals are not regulated by law and are not governed by any code of conduct to ensure that they always work to the highest standards.As a result, the opportunity of unethical practice among dieticians is becoming open for exploitation.
The speakers expressed their concern about these situations. They stated that, food is an essential component of human existence. And the nutritionists and dieticians are the professionals who provide scientific knowledge about food to the population. So they have a very crucial role to play to improve the nutritional status of the people of Bangladesh.
They added that, dieticians’ responsibility is to direct people towards a health life by using scientific facts and figures. But due to the lack of responsibility and ethical code, some of the dieticians tend to promote different food brands through their social media by using their profession, projecting unscientific attitude to the public, and putting the status of public health in danger. Moreover, uniformity is seldom observed in their prescription. They often attend seminars, workshops, and meetings in home and abroad, financed by different food companies and participate in inauguration programs of different food products as special guests. As a result a negative impression about food and nutrition is taking place in public psyche, which in the long run can affect the nutritional condition of the future generation.
There speakers vowed to take every possible step to ensure the standard of service from the dieticians and the nutritionists. They recommended that, there should be a steering committee for clinical nutritionists and dieticians to monitor and evaluate their provided service, and a well-structured system will bedeveloped for certification, evaluation, internship, and service of the clinical nutritionists and dieticians.
This webinar is the first episode of a three-episode series.
The readers can watch the webinar by clicking this link: https://web.facebook.com/eminencengo/videos/345944376628928