Founded on the 24th of February 2012, the Enteral Nutrition Association of South Africa aims to promote the usage of enteral nutrition, especially when concerning disease related malnutrition. We do so by providing funding for research in the field of malnutrition, supporting local congresses and continuously working with associations like SASPEN and the HDIG to educate and promote the role of the dietitian in the treatment of disease related malnutrition.
What is Disease Related Malnutrition?
Disease-related malnutrition, as the name suggests, is malnutrition triggered by illness or disease. In this scenario, the effects of malnutrition can complicate the disease itself, leading to a vicious cycle of complications. It is estimated that disease-related malnutrition is as prevalent in South Africa as it is elsewhere in the world, affecting one in four patients admitted to hospital and more than 1 in 3 residents in care homes, step down facilities and older people living independently. This can also increase the length of hospital stay and increase healthcare costs.
Diseases frequently implicated in disease-related malnutrition include cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney failure, chronic heart failure, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
What is Enteral Nutrition?
Enteral Nutrition is any method of feeding that makes use of the gastrointestinal tract to provide some or all of a person's nutritional requirements. It can either an oral nutritional supplement or a tube which is placed in the nose, mouth, stomach or small intestine . Enteral Nutrition is important as often when patients are sick they cannot chew, ingest or swallow food, enteral nutrition serves as a way to keep patients fed no matter their physical capabilities.