The department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics aims to improve the health of people through nutrition. This is through quality training that caters for both therapeutic and preventive/promotive nutrition care. Nutrition being an ever emerging concern is geared to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The department focuses on achieving the concerns raised in the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) through its training, research and community service outreach.
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The department currently has the following programs:
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- Diploma in Nutrition and Health
- B.Sc in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
- M.Sc in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
- Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition
- Ph.D Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
The department has recently reviewed the curriculum which is now in use. The review was done to ensure conformity with market demands thereby addressing existing gaps. This was in consultation with the current and potential employers of students from the department, as well as with collaborating partners. The department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics has grown rapidly in both the students and staff size and is in the process of being split into two namely; Department Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Department of Food Technology and Nutrition. By the end of the current strategic plan period (2006-2015), the department should have grown to three departments namely; Department of Human Nutrition and health, Department of clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and Department of Food Technology and Nutrition.
The science and food laboratories for the department have recently been renovated to be in line with the modern standards. The following equipments have also been procured; UV- Visible Spectrometer, more gas and electric cookers and a refrigerator.
The department has made several collaborations with international institution like Columbia University, Oklahoma State University, East Carolina University and Toronto University. Staff and students from Oklahama State University joins Kenyatta University in May 2012 for an exchange program. In addition, a student intern from Mount Saint Vincent University is attached at the department from May 2012 for 3 months. The collaboration with Bioversity International has led to a sponsorship for a PhD student to undertake a complementary feeding study in Western Kenya. The local institutions include; FSAU- FAO, Diversity International, UN agencies, UNILIVER, UNICEF, WHO, WFP, Government Ministries (Health, Education, Agriculture, Planning), NGOS (World Vision, Care - Kenya, Concern World Wide, Catholic Relief Services, Children Christian Fund, GAIN, Micronutrients Initiative, MDG Center etc). The collaboration with the department is for research, capacity building of students in form of supervision internships and attachments, employment of students and funding of projects.
The department currently has one Full professor, one Associate Professor, 2 Senior Lecturers, 6 Lecturers and 9 Tutorial Fellows. The staff members in the department have been involved in policy making, which include; Development of Kenya National Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Manual, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) guidelines and strategic plan, national food and security policy and protocols for nutrition survey under the micronutrient initiative.
The students in the department take units from other disciplines that add value to the training in nutrition. These include: Public Health, Community Development, Sociology, Family and Consumer Studies. The students are normally attached and also have field trips to both health facilities and emergency areas to practice and apply the knowledge learnt in class. The employers of our graduates are satisfied with their performance.
Many thanks go to members of staff of the department who are committed and work tirelessly to ensure quality teaching and research is undertaken by the department.
Our Graduates easily get employment in a wide range of areas including:
- Government ministries (Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Culture and Social Services, Education)
- Food industries (Kenya Bureau of Standards, Nestle Foods, Uni-Lever)
- Non-Governmental organizations (World Vision, UNICEF, OXFAM etc).
- Academic institutions
- Hotel and Tourism industries
- Self employment