South Africa’s HIV burden is the greatest in the world. From 2009 to 2011, the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Infant & Young Child Nutrition Project worked to prevent HIV from reaching the next generation and to improve the nutritional status of mothers and children. The project informed a new set of national guidelines on infant and young child feeding in the context of HIV, and with national and international partners, identified opportunities for integrating nutrition assessment, counseling, and support services into programs focusing on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. The project also worked in one district to mobilize communities and local government to integrate nutrition activities into community development plans. All of the project’s efforts have contributed to strengthening programs that seek to improve the nutrition of infants and young children, pregnant and lactating women, and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), particularly populations at risk of contracting HIV.
Nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS was reported to the Global Nutrition Policy Review (GNPR) 2009-2010In Eastern Cape Province, IYCN supported PATH’s efforts to improve the quality, availability, and uptake of PMTCT services by strengthening under-resourced PMTCT sites and mobilizing communities to increase the uptake of those services. To prevent malnutrition and ensure HIVfree survival of children, IYCN contributed to integrating infant and young child feeding activities into PMTCT interventions. Specifically, the project helped develop atraining package for lay counselors and community health workers and supported the training of 100 community health workers on infant and young child feeding. In addition, the project assisted the provincial health department to develop tools for surveying facility-based nutritionservices.By adapting a regional, community-based planning tool for use locally, IYCN worked with private-sector partner, J & J Trust, South Africa’s Ekurhuleni Municipality, and Ward 86 within the municipality’s Nigel District to conduct a pilot program that integrated nutrition interventions into economic and community development planning. This model approach can be scaled up throughout the district and beyond to enhance awareness of the nutritional status of young children and dietary and feeding practices that can improve their health. Through this approach, IYCN trained community volunteers to engage the community in nutrition activities. The community response was overwhelming, and community leaders included nutrition activities in development plans. These new activities included establishing a support group for pregnant and lactating mothers and their parents and initiating an awareness campaign on available structures to support lactation.
|Tue, 03/11/2014 - 17:27||engesveenk||Edited by william_nkoom.||published|
|Tue, 01/01/2013 - 18:12||william_nkoom||Edited by william_nkoom.||draft|