Remission hope travels to Kenya as IPTN supports a therapeutic nutrition hub  

IPTN and the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Nutrition are working together to create a Therapeutic Nutrition Hub and Type 2 Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence in Kenya, broadening the reach of the knowledge and research conducted to help global health and wellness.  

Image by Amani Nation

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases in Africa and is expected to increase by over 140% by 2045. In 2021, IPTN and Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) worked with the University of Nairobi in Kenya to support the creation of a Therapeutic Nutrition Hub for Africa. This included creating a Type 2 Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence in Kenya.

The Type 2 Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence at the University of Nairobi will provide nutrition education for health professionals, lead research into personalized therapeutic nutrition, work to integrate nutrition into the health system, coordinate an African network of universities interested in therapeutic nutrition, and identify best practices to be scaled across Kenya and the rest of Africa.

“Collaborating with the University of Nairobi on the development of a Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence was a significant highlight and milestone for IPTN,” said Sean McKelvey, Chief Executive Officer. “Learnings from this initiative around food policy and agriculture are helping us explore food access solutions in developed countries, like Canada.” 

IPTN will provide the core training curriculum and will work with the University of Nairobi on adapting the content to better align with Kenyan culture and food preferences.  This adapted content will form the basis for culturally appropriate therapeutic nutrition interventions in Canada and around the world.

“Working with a top university in Africa like the University of Nairobi was critical, as was aligning farming practices with the therapeutic nutrition agenda. It is difficult to influence farming practices in a big way in developed countries. In Africa, agriculture plays a significant role in driving community engagement and food farmacies will become a key component of the implementation strategy,” said McKelvey.

  

IPTN and the University of Nairobi will work together to train new and existing health professionals, with the assistance of local champions, to use evidence-centered therapeutic nutrition to treat or achieve remission in people with chronic medical conditions. They will also improve public access and awareness of therapeutic nutrition, develop tools and resources, and conduct research.