A Tale of Two Cities—Ambassador Fatima University Medical Center

Harold IturraldeDespite COVID prohibitions on gatherings in the Philippines, Dr. Harold P. Iturralde was determined that Malnutrition Awareness Week™ (MAW) would be observed at not just the Valenzuela City branch of the Fatima University Medical Center, but at the other in Antipolo City, too—some 60 miles away.

To inform his far-flung colleagues, Dr. Iturralde, an internist and clinical nutritionist, used email blasts, social media, and a variety of apps including Viber and Facebook Messenger. The teaching hospital's administrators, internal medicine residents, and marketing department were key allies, promoting MAW events on its website and social media outlets. MAW posters went up in both cities, and MAW buttons were distributed and worn by the hospital staff for the entire week.   

Dr. Iturralde took the added step of informing the local representatives of Nestlé and Abbott about the event. Their representatives supported MAW by providing their products to patients in the ambulatory and hemodialysis clinics. 

“Nutrition education is not prioritized in medical school or post-graduate/residency trainings," said Dr. Iturralde. "Fatima University Medical Center’s participation in MAW2020 is a manifestation of the institution’s commitment to being an outstanding training/teaching hospital for future doctors. There is now an increased awareness among the residents-in-training of nutritional screening and assessment of patients so those needing nutrition support/therapy are identified earlier and personalized nutritional and dietary interventions are formulated and implemented.”


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