On November 5, 2018, Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition collaborated with FV Hospital to organize the eighth seminar under the Vietnam Nutritional system Establishment Projects (VINEP), entitled “Strengthening clinical nutrition activities and nutrition manpower in hospitals”. This project is sponsored by the Ajinomoto Foundation and Ajinomoto company and was attended by 100 guests, spearheaded by nutritionists and experts from both Japan and Vietnam.
Speakers included Professor Kido Yasuhiro, Director of the Japan Dietetic Association (JDA) and Dr Michio Inukai, Director of Japanese Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JSPEN), both from Japan.
- Associate Professor Nguyen Do Huy, MD, PhD – Director of the Food and Nutrition Training Centre, National Institute of Nutrition
- Dr Chau Thi Kim Lien, Former Head of Nephrology, Cho Ray Hospital
- Dr Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu, Head of the Clinical Nutrition Department, FV Hospital
- Dr Pham Hoang Thu Nga, Dr Dang Duc Ngoc and Dr Le Van Tru, all from the Nutrition Training Center, National Institute of Nutrition.
Professor Kido opened by describing how Japan has a strong focus on nutrition. In 1920, the Japanese Institute of Nutrition was established, followed by a training institute for nutritionists in 1925. Since then, the nutrition of Japan’s population has been improved, helping to establish it as the country with the highest life expectancy.
One remarkable achievement its Japan’s balanced nutrition scheme for school lunches, which has contributed to keeping the obesity rate among Japanese children at 3.4 per cent, which is much lower than the UK (25%) and the United States (33%).
To achieve the above results, Dr Michio – Director of Japanese Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JSPEN) shared that thanks to Professor Takashi Higashiguchi – President of JSPEN who successfully created the model of multi-disciplinary Nutrition Support Team (NST) in Japan. Nutrition Support Team manages nutrition assessment and intervention for patients with nutrition risk in hospitals as well as do nutrition education for HCPs.
Specialist Level 2 Doctor Chau Thi Kim Lien, Former Head of Nephrology at Cho Ray Hospital, highlighted the importance of nutrition in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. Proper nutrition not only helps a patient to achieve a healthy weight, but also relieves kidney failure and preserves remaining kidney function. Dr Kim Lien described the necessity of a team comprising clinicians, nutritionists, nurses, psychologists or social workers when planning patient nutrition plans – similar to the Nutrition Support Team model shared by Dr Michio.
Dr Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu, Head of the Clinical Nutrition Department, FV Hospital, gave out recommendations of nutrition experts in the topic “The Newest Southeast Asian Expert Consensus and Current Vietnamese Health Care Clinical Nutritional Practices”. She spoke about how Vietnamese hospitals need to pay more attention to the role of nutrition in treating patients. In order to protect a patient’s health, nutrition screening should be conducted within 24 hours of admission with appropriate tools. To this goal, the establishment of a Nutrition Support Team is essential, with team members trained in clinical nutrition.
Dr Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu shared the importance of clinical nutrition training and how it should be provided at various levels, from medical students to doctors and nurses. Comprehensive training of nutritionists should also be encouraged through a variety of models, such as on-the-job training and short- and long-term courses to meet the nutritional resources needs of hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country.
In terms of education and training for nutritionists in Vietnam, Associate Professor Nguyen Do Huy, Director of the Food and Nutrition Training Center,National Institute of Nutrition, expressed that Vietnam is taking steps to apply Japan’s three-step model to developing a national nutrition education system. The bachelor’s degree programme has now been conducted at eight universities nationwide and will become more widespread.
The eighth VINEP seminar closed by advising attendees that Vietnam’s nutrition issues are being explored more deeply by specialists for optimal solutions.
These are solid stepping stones for the Vietnamese nutrition system, contributing to the development of nutrition and health of hospital patients and the Vietnamese people, generally.