Partially funded by DFID & British Council under Higher Education Link Programme
Pakistani Food Composition Tables

Dr. Mamoona Kamran

The object of medical education is to prepare a doctor for the tasks he or she is likely to be given soon after graduation. As a new medical practitioner doctors normally start doing jobs in hospitals that exist in isolation in community busy curing the diseases, not knowing the health problems of the community. Similarly, doctors working in health centers, usually in rural areas have the basic task of providing promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and emergency care services. The fresh graduates often fail to fulfill the basic objective of these health units because of non-emphasis on community medicine in the previous curriculum which is more designed for secondary care rather than primary one.

‘With the help of the knowledge of masters level education in community health and nutrition coupled with research work, I as an in charge of my health unit, am now in better position to assess the state of health of my patients, covering every aspect like physical, emotional, nutritional and social well being, of not only individual patients but in the context of the community” . The care of the community is the primary target where physician as the leader of the health team provides primary health care at the grass root level, the focus previously not emphasized upon by myself. With my knowledge of community health and nutrition, now I am more apt with community diagnosis, prioritization of health problems and community treatment.

Physician as health care teacher of community can practice professional association in community activities. Previously, I was reluctant to capitalize my role as a health promoter. Now I know that as educator I can play an efficient role in community health education by teaching individuals, families and communities to assume good health by self-care. I can generate and mobilize community participation in health programmes through effective propagation of relevant information.

With the present knowledge, now I can identify the health problems in a defined population i.e. community diagnosis and can plan, implement and evaluate the extent to which health measures must be taken. Now the general trend of patient complaints is more meaningful for me and compels me to concentrate on root causes to alleviate them in the community, which in turn is helpful in reduction of such cases. Statistical analysis helps in categorization of diseases and better heath care planning. Community health actions are now possible according to the resources available and wishes of the people as revealed by community diagnosis.

Previously I was more focused on medication but now I can advice the patients about diet improvement for not only curative but also for preventive reasons. I can give diet plans to patients especially with cardiac, diabetic and renal diseases.

My master’s education has also helped my to better spend the funds available at my disposal for the health unit because through statistical categorization, I have improved medicines’ stock/inventory keeping it more relevant to my community.

Therefore, undoubtedly, I have gained much with my master’s education in community health and nutrition and am more useful to my organization and my community with a greater degree of self-satisfaction and objective achievement


All Rights Reserved 2005, Pak Coordinator, DFID Higher Education Link (Food and Nutrition)