DIPA’s finalist : learn more about Afework Mulugeta

Prof. Afework Mulugeta is one of the finalist of the 3rd edition of the Danone International Prize for Alimentation for his projet “Fast recovery of hospitalized patients through improved food presentation and pleasant meal time in resource limited settings (FAST HOPE Project)”

 Undernutrition in hospitalized patients remains a pressing issue in Ethiopian hospitals as, about 56% of patients are undernourished. It occurs and affects patients of all ages and has been associated with an increased length of hospital stay, poor patient outcomes, higher treatment costs and increased morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Thus, in order to address the loss of appetite and reduced food intake among hospitalized patients, it is critical to create the home-like environment, happy family food occasions, respect for food rituals and social coherence through improved food presentation and organization of pleasant meal times in hospital settings.

The FAST HOPE project will be implemented in five phases: 1. formative assessment, 2. development of intervention, 3. piloting the intervention, 4. implementation of the intervention and 5. impact evaluation. The primary outcome of the intervention is fast recovery as measured by the average hospital length of stay.

Thus, changes in nutritional care through improved presentation and arranging pleasant meal times has to be examined in line with its impact on improving patient satisfaction, shortening the length of hospital stay, reducing extended recovery and healthcare costs among hospitalized patients in a limited resource setting.

The findings of the study will further strengthen the implementation of routine nutrition screening in the hospital setting, the development of nutrition care pathways and help the health systems and authorities to reinforce the need to include malnutrition as a preventable risk factor in hospitalized patients in Ethiopia.

Afework Mulugeta - DIPA 2023