My career in dietetics and nutrition started with an interest in hospital work, leading me to dietetics. After graduation I worked for two years as a dietitian at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa. I was the first dietitian in decades to work at this 3000 bed hospital. I had little opportunity to practice clinical dietetics, and found I did not miss it. I moved to rural hospitals where my work now has a strong community nutrition focus.
I am privileged to have seen the growth of the professions of nutrition and dietetics in South Africa, and the resulting increase in career opportunities. Registration of nutritionists with the national health professional council, which started in 2010, will help to ensure that nutrition is recognised as a formal discipline, rather than something limited to health food stores and fringe magazines.
I work as a consultant; doing project work in nutrition education, school based health education, infant and young child feeding, nutrition in HIV-Aids and food fortification. I remain constantly aware of the need to stay up to date with developments in nutrition research. Additional studies in health communication have helped me approach science-based messages and education programmes from a consumer perspective. I plan to work more with non-governmental and welfare organisations.