On April 20th Tufts Medical School Dietitian Molly Uebele headed across the ocean to the African country of Malawi. She had been hired by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition to establish the country’s first Dietetics program; one that would be strong on the side of science and stand up to international standards.
“We’re putting the first dietitians in Malawi,” Senior Program Manager Liz Marino-Costello smiled, “It gives me goose bumps to think about that.”
The dietetics program is scheduled to begin this fall, pending accreditation from the Malawi Medical Council. This new, 2-year diploma program will consist of 2 semesters of rigorous, graduate-level coursework, and 1200 hours of practical application in a hospital setting, working side by side with doctors and nurses. Potential students will have a Bachelor’s degree in fields related to medicine, science, health, nutrition. Molly will be one of the leading instructors for this degree program, teaching 3 courses in Clinical Dietetics and then overseeing the clinical rotations in the hospital with the help of other practitioners. She’ll be preparing students to work directly with patients as an integral part of the health care team, developing personalized nutrition plans.
“It’s a big undertaking,” states Molly, “But I have support from the Nutrition Innovation Lab to guide me.” She is thrilled to have found a job which pairs her love of teaching with her love of clinical dietetics, and allows her to work in her preferred setting: a hospital. “It’s a big step towards fighting malnutrition” Molly continued. In two years’ time Malawi will be seeing its first dietitians, accredited and registered through the Malawi Medical Council, working with doctors and nurses to use nutrition to treat patients.