Dietetics Major to Help Rebuild Health Services in Liberia
Buffalo, New York – May 13, 2013 – D’Youville’s only student from Liberia, Mameni Linga, a dietetics major, has been selected by the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) for a three-month study in their special program Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS) in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia and her home town.
RBHS is the U.S. government’s major project supporting Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The program supports Liberia's goal of increasing access to basic health services and strengthening the decentralized management of the health system. It is a five-year program, started in 2008, to support service delivery outcomes with a focus on the following elements: Family planning, reproductive health, and gender-based violence; maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH); malaria (PMI); HIV prevention; and water and sanitation.
Mameni, who earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Colorado, came to D’Youville last year to pursue a master’s degree in dietetics.
“I need to have my master’s degree to become accredited in the profession so I went to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website (www.eatright.org) and found D’Youville had the program,” she said. “D’Youville’s program is great!”
She will serve at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia and travel to community centers and medical sites in the rural countryside working with doctors in educating individuals about nutrition.
Mameni, who holds Liberian citizenship, came to the U.S. with her family in 2003, and is a permanent resident of the U.S.
“I want to be a dietitian to teach women and children about the importance of diet and nutrition and the effects it has on their health, especially mothers and their children,” she said.
“Mameni is very energetic and adds a lot to the classroom,” said Dr. Edward H. Weiss, professor of dietetics at D’Youville.
D’Youville’s coordinated BS/MS dietetics program combines a broad-based undergraduate and graduate educational experience within a variety of professional settings. Graduates are eligible to take the national examination to become a Registered Dietitian.
Mameni will return in August and expects to graduate from D’Youville in 2014. Her plans are to work in community health nutrition in the United States or in Liberia.
“I think I will be the only Liberian woman to hold registered dietitian credentials,” she said.
Dr. Edward Weiss
Professor, Dietetics Department