HIV treatment is not only limited to taking drugs but involves a host of other factors that contribute to the attainment of good treatment outcomes. Baylor-Uganda has integrated these factors in its programming to offer a comprehensive service package through interventions in nutrition and food security along with psychosocial support services targeting Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) in families infected and affected by the HIV scourge.
Nutrition and Food Security
Food and nutrition support is a critical component of successful HIV/AIDS care and treatment, while appropriate Maternal Nutrition and Infant and young child feeding (MNIYCF) counselling remains a critical component in eMTCT for HIV-free survival for infants.
In line with the MOH strategy of integrating Nutrition Assessment, Counseling and Support (NACS) into all health services, Baylor Uganda embarked on scaling up capacity of health facilities and health workers in NACS and MNIYCF. Over 179 health workers received a comprehensive 6-day didactic training in NACS while 341 were trained in maternal nutrition and IYCF during this reporting period. In addition, 1,510 Village Health Teams (VHTs) were trained in community nutrition assessment, referrals and follow-up. An additional 1,173 VHTs were oriented on maternal nutrition and IYCF so as to promote, protect and support optimal infant feeding practices within the communities. Baylor-Uganda has also supported health facilities in districts of operation with equipment for nutrition assessment, IEC materials and Job aids for easy nutrition assessments and counseling. Over 10,000 sets of MUAC tapes, 300 weighing scales, 1,000 counseling cards and over 50,000 flyers on nutrition were procured and distributed to health facilities in Kampala, and in supported districts across Karamoja, Rwenzori, Teso, and West Nile regions. Such support has seen an increase in nutrition assessment among clients receiving HIV care from less than 30% to over 97%. In the reporting period, over 16,853 clients received therapeutic foods, 5,424 of who were HIV positive. There are also notable improvements in some of the maternal nutrition and IYCF practices. Reported breastfeeding initiation within the first hour of birth improved from 77% to 98%, Iron/folic supplementation