Food is the commodity after water that so many of us are able to take for granted. At the moment in the Horn of Africa a famine is raging. BBC Radio 4's Food Programme this week deals with Emergency Food. This provides great insight into the infrastructures, communications, technologies and developments that are being brought to respond to such crises. This programme takes us beyond the images of sacks being dropped by air, supplies being delivered by truck; chaotic situations that also demand crowd control to the actual foods, their form and content.
For nurses nutrition is a key element on the curriculum, a routine part of ward / community assessment and care delivery. Sadly meeting the nutritional needs of patients is a key nursing care activity that is the subject of marked criticism. How do you draw nurse's attention to nutrition beyond stating the obvious? How do you motivate students and assure competency is signed-off in that final year? Learning is a very personal thing what with self-directed study, lectures and blended learning ... but it seems the emphasis on basic nursing care that includes nutrition can be lacking.
You know the real images that count: from rust coloured lands, the youngest skins and ravaged lands parched through to those infant's eyes that can still just wonder while so many others are closed.
I wonder if listening to this programme and reflecting on the very youngest-vulnerable might also help engage attention on the older-vulnerable - indeed all our patients?
Isn't increased awareness of nutrition AND global health what 21st century nursing should be about?