The Association of Nigerian Dietitians has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill for an act to establish the Dietitians Council of Nigeria.
The National President of the association, Prof. Elizabeth Kanayo Ngwu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday ahead of the World Diabetes Day being celebrated every Nov 14.
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Ngwu said that the bill if signed into law would among other things regulate and control the practice of dietetics.
According to her, the absence of the bill is breeding quackery in dietetics practice in society resulting in many losses of preventable deaths.
“If the bill is assented, people who are not dieticians will not be allowed to practice.
“Dietitians are regulated nutrition professionals licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat nutritional problem,’’ she said.
The president explained that there was a major difference between dietitians and nutritionists which laid in the legal restrictions that each title carried globally.
“The Dietetics profession is protected under the law whereas the Nutritionist profession is not. All dietitians are nutritionists but all nutritionists are not dietitians,’’ Ngwu explained.
On World Diabetes Day, the president said that it was marked every Nov. 14 to create awareness on dangers and management of diabetes.
“It marks the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who co-discovered insulin, a hormone that controls blood glucose in 1922, alongside Charles Best.
“Diabetes also known as diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat.
“The theme for this year’s day is `Family and Diabetes’ to create awareness on effects of diabetes on families.
“Millions of Nigerians are affected by diabetes and many of them do not know about it until they enter in complication stage hence the need for awareness,’’ she said.
The dietician stressed the need for families to know the signs of diabetes for early detection and management.
She listed the signs of diabetes to include feeling very thirsty, frequent urination, fatigue and loss of weight.
“Once this is noticed, they should visit dieticians for counseling and doctors for treatment,’’ Ngwu said.