On Friday, October 13th, Hungary achieved a remarkable milestone by officially joining the ONCA (Optimal Nutritional Care for All) Campaign. The formulation of ONCA Hungary represents a significant step towards enhancing nutritional care policy in the country. The launch event was marked by the presence of Dr. Judit Bidló, Deputy State Secretary of Health at the Interior Ministry of Hungary and a diverse group of stakeholders, in the heart of Budapest as part of the opening session of the 14th EFAD Congress.
Setting the Stage
The official entry of Hungary into the ONCA Campaign serves as a testament to the nation’s dedication to advancing the field of nutritional care. This significant step not only underscores Hungary’s commitment to health and well-being but also opens the doors to new opportunities for collaboration and innovation. The attendance of Dr. Judit Bidló, Deputy State Secretary of Health at the Interior Ministry of Hungary added significant weight to its importance.
Joost Wesseling, ENHA Ex. Director, kicked off with an enlightening introduction to the overarching ONCA Campaign, diving deeper into the objectives of the campaign as well as providing a retrospective, highlighting the significant actions taken and achievements made as part of the ONCA Campaign in the past years.
This retrospective offered valuable insights into the journey of the campaign and good practices that Hungary can draw inspiration from as it embarks on its own ONCA journey.
Insights from the ONCA Hungary Secretary
Dr Péter Sahin, President of the Hungarian Society for Artificial Nutrition, shared critical insights into the current nutritional landscape in Hungary, underscoring the pressing issue of malnutrition. He specifically highlighted the challenges that must be addressed to enhance nutritional care in Hungary emphasizing the urgency of addressing malnutrition and integrating it into the forefront of healthcare priorities.
“I see joining the ONCA community as an excellent opportunity not only to reach a wider professional audience, but also to broaden the fight against malnutrition through patient organisations and the involvement of health policy makers.”
Health issues in Hungary and how dietitians are delivering solutions
Just before the official launch, Dr. Judit Bidló, Deputy State Secretary of Health at the Interior Ministry of Hungary, delivered a compelling presentation. She shared valuable insights into the prevailing health issues in Hungary and emphasized the pivotal role of dietitians in delivering solutions. Dr. Bidló’s presentation underscoring the significance of innovative strategies such as the ONCA Campaign in addressing healthcare challenges set the stage for the official launch of the Hungarian ONCA Alliance.
The official launch
A moment of celebration followed with the official launch of the Hungarian ONCA Alliance, led by Tünde Koltai, ENHA Board member. This launch stands as a testament to the dedication and determination of all those involved, representing a transformative step forward in advancing nutritional care in Hungary.
The launch was followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion featuring representatives from the Hungarian Dietetic Association, the Hungarian Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, patients, and government officials. Their insightful discussions and key takeaway messages provide a roadmap for the future of nutritional care in Hungary.
“It is very important that we represent the interests and voice of patients in ONCA and in similar national and international cooperation, because even the most ambitious professional objectives will only be successful with the involvement, education and information of the stakeholders”
The Optimal Nutritional Care for All (ONCA) campaign
The Optimal Nutritional Care for All (ONCA) campaign, launched in 2014, aims to improve nutritional care and screening for disease-related malnutrition/undernutrition across Europe by translating nutrition science into policy and practice. The campaign supports national professional societies, associations, and patient groups in implementing nutritional risk screening and optimal nutritional care in their countries. The European Nutrition for Health Alliance (ENHA) coordinates the initiative through a Steering Committee comprising representatives from the alliance.
The campaign was initiated to translate political support into action at the national level after gaining support from the European Parliament and other stakeholders. ENHA has collaborated with various countries since 2011 to improve nutritional care, and currently, twenty countries participate in the ONCA campaign.
The objectives of the campaign are to:
- Implement optimal nutritional care for all;
- Strengthen national alliances;
- Benchmark existing nutritional care programs;
- Support the implementation of the ONCA strategy and tailored activities in each country;
- Share good practices for campaigning for optimal nutritional care;
- Measure progress and impact;
- Align with key stakeholders and international organizations such as the EU and WHO EURO.
The ONCA campaign encourages collaborative efforts to combat malnutrition in Europe and engages in responding to calls for action.