The Czech Republic joined the worldwide campaign Malnutrition Awareness Week (MAW) for the first time this year. It was held in the week of November 1st. The campaign culminated on Thursday, November 4th, when Nutrition Day is celebrated worldwide. The Czech campaign was designed and executed by the Alliance for Nutritional Care (APNP). The project was endorsed by the Ministry of Health.
The objectives of the Czech MAW campaign:
1) attract the attention of the health professionals and general public to the risks of malnutrition
2) offer a self-screening tool and tips on how to enrich the food in home settings
3) publish contacts of the nutrition outpatient clinics throughout the whole country
4) get an idea of malnutrition prevalence in the community.
The Alliance launched a new website called “Malnutrition Risks” (rizikamalnutrice.cz), which offers a simple online self-screening tool for assessing malnutrition risk in the form of a calculator. Visitors can thus verify whether they, or a person close to them, is at risk of malnutrition, determine the degree of the risk, and obtain tips in the form of leaflets. There are three possible outcomes – low, middle, and high risk of malnutrition. Based on the outcome, the website visitor is referred to one of three leaflets. The website also contains information on who to turn to for help, including contacts to the outpatient clinics, dietitians, and nutritionists. The visitors may find general information about malnutrition, its symptoms and consequences, and who might be at risk of malnutrition.
As part of the campaign, press conferences and media interviews were conducted. The director of the Alliance, Ivana Pražanová, introduced the MAW on the Czech TV Saturday morning show, on October 16th. The scientific secretary of SKVIMP, Frantisek Novak was interviewed live on Czech Radio on November 1st. The Ministry of Health organized a press conference on their premises to promote the Malnutrition Awareness Week and Nutrition Day 2021 on October 25th. While the chairman of the Alliance Board, Pavel Tesinsky introduced malnutrition and its risks, Minister Adam Vojtech stressed his long-term interest in the improvement of nutrition care.
The press conference on October 25th at the Czech minister’s conference room to attract public attention to the malnutrition risks and to inform regarding the new website RizikaMalnutrice.cz as the main component of the Czech MAW21.
In order to reach most of the people potentially being at risk of malnutrition, the Alliance contacted the Society of General Practitioners and the Society of General Medicine with a proposal to spread the information about the new website and the self-screening tool among their members. Both societies agreed and posted the information on their websites. Communication channels with both societies were opened and opportunities for future cooperation with the Alliance were explored.