Remission hope travels to Kenya as IPTN creates a therapeutic nutrition hub
IPTN and the University of Nairobi 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.
Access to insulin and diabetic medical devices is a challenge in Africa, where the cost of treatment can be a dramatic portion of a family’s income. In 2021, IPTN partnered 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, with a future project planned for Malaysia.
The Type 2 Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence will provide nutrition education, integrate nutrition into the health system, provide personalized therapeutic nutrition, as well as prescriptions of food as medicine through Food Farmacies.
“Partnering with the University of Nairobi and developing a community-led Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence was a significant highlight and milestone for the 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.”
The IPTN is responsible for all training and support and will assist with the planning and implementation. An MoU was signed with Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) to support this initiative. GODAN is responsible for all operational activities and will be assisting on research and fundraising.
“Working with a top university in Africa like Nairobi was important, as well as aligning with farming. It is difficult to influence farming practices in a big way in developed countries. Agriculture is significant to driving community in Africa and the food farmacies became an additional community-led and owned element,” said McKelvey.
IPTN and GODAN will work together to train and certify 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 to knowledge of therapeutic nutrition, develop tools and resources, and conduct research.
IPTN is responsible for developing culturally appropriate programming, preparing healthcare champions to become local experts in therapeutic nutrition and diabetes remission, providing in-depth training for clinical practice, and reviewing delivery methods. They will also make their clinical tools, informational resources, and patient materials available for use or adaptation by the Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence.