The Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD) is a non-profit professional organization that represents all practitioners in the field of Dietetics and Nutrition. This local association was launched in 2002 and to date we have a membership of over 400 professionals and para-professionals. Our members are employed largely to the Ministries of Health and Education; tertiary institutions and in the private sector. JAPINAD is managed by an Executive and a Board of Directors.
Since its inception in 2002 JAPINAD has had annual technical seminars. The first technical Session, entitled ‘Nutrition and HIV/AIDS’, was put on with sponsorship from the National STI Programme of the Ministry of Health and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) in August 2003 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Montego Bay. The second technical session, entitled ‘Nutrition and Early Childhood Development’ was held in August 2004 at the Golf View Hotel, Mandeville. This event was sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The third technical session was in conjunction with the 2005 conference highlighted above. The fourth technical session, entitled ‘Wellness opportunities and Strategies in Nutrition and Dietetics’ was held at the Medallion Hall in Kingston on August 25, 2006. This event was sponsored by PAHO and the Environmental Health Foundation.
Our last conference was held in 2012 as a mark of our 10th Anniversary at the Pegasus entitled Nutrition in National Development which was sponsored by the NHF. In 2007 we held our previous conference and exposition entitled “Promoting Child Wellness and School Nutrition” was sponsored by the CHASE Fund. They also sponsored our previous Caribbean conference held in July 2005 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston in collaboration with the staging of the 29th Caribbean Regional Conference of Nutrition and Dietetics entitled “Emerging areas of interest in Nutrition”. These events were jointly hosted with the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) with additional funding from National Health Fund and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI).
Within the last five years, JAPINAD has successfully hosted four additional technical sessions, and five expositions three of which were a part of our activities in National Nutrition Week. We have also collaborated with other entities in mounting booths at their national exhibitions and health fairs. All these events received overwhelming support from the public and professionals working in health, education, agriculture, the private sector and NGOs.
We have representation on a Food Industry Task Force and we contribute to Standards and Legislation policies through the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine and the Food Safety Policy Committee. We are affiliated with the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians which has membership in the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations (ICDA). We also have links with the American Overseas Dietetic Organization (AODA). We also have close affiliation with the University of Technology, University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI).
We participate in various developmental activities on an annual basis. We are an integral part of the Health Promotion and Nutrition Component of the Special Olympics Athletes programme and our members provide screening services at both the local and Caribbean Games. We are also members of the Council for Voluntary Social Services (CVSS). The JAPINAD has always had positive working relations with various funding agencies and private sector companies and all of these will be approached to collaborate.
In 2012 we independently hosted an international conference in celebration of our 10th anniversary which coincides with Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence. Three years later the JAPINAD made it their administrative priority to focus its effort on Obesity prevention. This drive towards addressing Obesity was further catalyzed when the President, Kirk Bolton, was invited by the Minister of Health to accompany his Health Delegates to the WHO-PAHO Directing Council meeting in Washington DC in September 2014. There the President presented Jamaica’s resolution to the Obesity Prevention policy. As a result of all those developments, for our 13th Anniversary we have decided to celebrate such with our National Nutrition Week (NNW) which commenced on Sunday July 19, 2015. Our NNW shall comprise of an International Obesity Conference which is scheduled for July 22 – 23, 2015 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica where the aim is to provide interaction in addressing Obesity from a multisectoral approach.