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Building national capacity in HIV and Nutrition

By Kate Sadler

Kate Sadler is a nutritionist and senior researcher with a focus on nutrition in emergencies at the Feinstein International Centre. She worked previously with Valid International for six years and with Concern Worldwide for four years prior to that.

Researchers from the Feinstein International Centre and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the USA are contributing to the development of a preservice training (PST) curriculum in HIV and nutrition for students of a variety of health professions in Ethiopia, as part of the ‘Food by Prescription (FBP)’ programme (see research piece in this issue).

A Training the Trainers (TOT) Workshop was successfully delivered in September 2010 and the training manual, ‘Nutrition and HIV/AIDS: A Training Manual for Nurses and Midwives’1 was used with some modifications for the delivery of the course. The course consisted of 12 modules that were delivered in a five and a half day workshop, with some of the modules being merged. Sessions included the FBP programme, treatment protocols for adults and children living and/or affected with HIV and/or living with severe and or moderate acute malnutrition.

The workshop included one half day of field visits, with faculty staff assigned to one of three groups as follows:
Group 1: Monitoring and Evaluation of FBP programme in Shashemene clinic 2.
Group 2: Monitoring and Evaluation in an anti-retroviral treatment (ART) clinic in Awassa Hospital (with no food supplementation, for comparison purposes).
Group 3: Monitoring and evaluating the commodity logistics system in relation to the programme.

A total of 17 faculty members and associates were trained representing four faculties (Nutrition, Public Health, Nursing and Paediatrics) from different universities. Faculty members for each of the faculties have, since the workshop, begun to develop plans for integrating materials from the workshop into their existing courses. The Nursing/ Paediatrics and Public Health faculties have specific courses that they can integrate the materials into. The Nutrition faculty found that the material could be introduced in almost all their courses. All groups found the material extremely relevant.

The pre-service traing group at Hawassa University

A key discussion held at the end of the course was the potential for integrating the training material into existing activities. A positive outcome of the training was that faculty staff within Hawassa University are able to work together to develop a proposal to roll out the training to other faculty members. This will allow for sustainability of the rollout process within Hawassa University.

The Tufts team anticipates working with some of the faculty members at Hawassa University in Year 2 to support them as they lead the TOT rollout. Jimma 0University could also be targeted for the next phase, thus expanding the national capacity building efforts in this crucial area of nutrition in Ethiopia.

For more information, contact: Kate Sadler, email: kate.sadler@tufts.edu

1East, Central and Southern Africa Community (ECSA-HC), Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project (FANTA), and Linkages Project, 2008. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS:A Training Manual for Nurses and Midwives. Arusha, Tanzania: ECSA-HC.

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Kate Sadler (2011). Building national capacity in HIV and Nutrition. Field Exchange 40, February 2011. p80. www.ennonline.net/fex/40/building

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