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Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project: On a Mission of Transformational Change


Monday (real name withheld) is a 39-year-old PLHIV (People Living with HIV), whose means of sustenance is taxi driving. He resides in Rivers state and was diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 2013. Following series of other confirmational tests and clinical assessments, he commenced Anti-Retroviral medication in 2014 at Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH). According to Mr. Monday….

“I have been coming for my drugs every month in this facility and whenever I come the nurse will check my blood pressure and weight. Occasionally, my body temperature is checked as well. Nobody in the facility talks to me about these measurements and its implication. I am only given my drugs and told my next appointment date. Sometime in December 2016, when I came to the facility to pick my drugs, I was surprisingly told to climb on an equipment. This was absolutely new to me, and after that I was told to have a seat and shown a wheel known as BMI wheel. She explained that this wheel will reveal if am eating well and getting enough nutrients. After she took me through a well-designed nutritional assessment, it revealed that I was underweight and so I was told I needed to start eating well. I was then given dietary guidance and three sachets of Soya plus (a food supplement).”

Monday returned to the facility on the 28th of February 2017, for his follow-up visit. This time around, his weight had improved with a 3.4kg upward spike on his weight. He was more vibrant, full of energy and attesting to the positive difference in his health and well-being. Monday is just one of the many who have benefitted from the “nutritional and counselling support (NACS) model of the FANTA project.

Between the months of August and December 2016, 1,212 PLHIV visited participating health facilities for the first time, and 65% of them received nutritional assessments, classification and quality counseling. NACS is designed to strengthen nutrition services across the continuum of care that guides and tracks clients over time, including nutrition screening and assessment, prevention and treatment of malnutrition, and community follow-up. Where health facilities lack resources to identify malnourished people outside of health facilities or to track people who have been treated for malnutrition once they return home.

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