The scope of clinical nutrition covers the nutrition care of patients at the facility and community level. It involves the nutrition care in disease and illness cutting across communicable and non communicable diseases as well as life conditions and disabilities like cerebral palsy and autism in children and osteoporosis, arthritis in older people, commonly seen in Kenyans hospitals. The Kenya health statistics (2011) shows a high number of people accessing health care services in GOK. The Kenya health policy outlines twelve out of the possible twenty leading causes for morbidity and mortality being nutrition related. The Kenya health strategic plan further outlines diseases for containment .Most of these diseases are directly linked to nutrition.
The role of nutrition in management of disease and complementing the medical care cannot be overemphasized, with the impact on hospital stay and quality of life positively changed. A comprehensive approach to the management of disease that includes nutrition as a strong component contributes to the reduction of the burden of disease to a country.The increase in lifestyle diseases and the registered non communicable diseases have further increased demand for nutrition services.
Irrespective of the cause of morbidity, all inpatient and outpatient clients require nutrition care services ranging from counseling and education to nutrition support therapies. Further with more specialized care in the medical field, there is need for specialized nutrition services e.g in renal, diabetes, critical care, geriatric and pediatric care.
Feeding in the hospitals is also another area of concern ,with increased use of therapeutic foods (commercial and hospital based) and therapeutic nutrition supplements playing a significant role .The overall planning of infrastructure ,personnel ,commodities and coordination affect the amount and quality of food served in hospitals .Considering the high number of diseases registered in Kenya, the Nutrition Unit has developed a clinical nutrition and Dietetics manual which is a quick reference to support Nutritionist and dieticians in delivering quality nutrition services.
- Strengthening of clinical nutrition programme
- Development and dissemination of clinical nutrition guidelines.
- Capacity building in clinical nutrition.
- Improved Coordination and linkages with stakeholders for improved service delivery.
- Advocacy for clinical nutrition.
- Resource mobilization.
- Improved capacity in nutrition service delivery.
- Improved access to quality curative nutrition services
- Increase in specialized nutrition services.
- Increased resources to support clinical nutrition activities.
- Improved coordination and partnerships.