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€1.2m project to improve patients’ nutrition at Croatian hospitals

€1.2m project to improve patients' nutrition at Croatian hospitals

ZAGREB, Dec 21 (Hina) – The Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI) and the pharmaceutical company Belupo launched a research and development project to develop a new diet for hospitalised patients, the RBI said on Monday.

The three-year project is worth HRK 9 million, with HRK 6.1 million being co-financed by EU funds under the call ‘Strengthening capacities for research, development and innovation’ (IRI) from the European Regional Development Fund. Most of the funding will be invested in research and development of new formulas, patent protection and the employment of new experts, it was said.

These are innovative oral nutritional products for special medical needs intended for complete or partial nutrition of patients with limited, decreased or impaired ability to consume, digest, absorb, metabolise or excrete normal food, RBI assistant director and project head, Marijeta Kralj, said.

The project also aims to define the concept of personalised nutritional support which will, together with innovative product and a digital communication platform, make a step towards a comprehensive approach to the first line of nutritional therapy, said Lenkica Penava, the coordinator of Belupo’s project team.

Health problems related to inadequate nutrition are among the most significant social problems in Croatia. The leading causes of death in Croatia are cardiovascular diseases which are directly linked with diet, while the diabetes rate in Croatia is 54.7% higher than in other new members of the European Union.

Statistical data show that malnutrition caused by untimely and inadequate nutritional therapy affects 20 to 60% of hospital patients. Numerous studies have shown that timely and adequate nutritional therapy contributes to a reduction in the number of days spent in hospital and the number of repeated hospitalisations, thus also decreasing the costs in the health system.

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