As a result of the 2014 drought triggered by El Niño that left 23 percent of households food insecure, Swaziland needed additional nutrition support to address its nutrition and food-security needs. With funds from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), FANTA is helping to mitigate the effect of the drought by supporting clinical partner Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), which implements the AIDSFree project in two regions of Swaziland and strengthen the provision and monitoring of nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) services. The drought and its impact on malnutrition in Swaziland led to an increased need for effective NACS services, including improvement in the identification, treatment, and care of persons with malnutrition and suffering from other related illnesses. FANTA is also working in coordination with World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, the National Nutrition Council (SNNC), and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
FANTA’s activities in Swaziland include:
- Development of an integrated nutrition training of trainers (TOT) curriculum, which included sessions on NACS, the new Food by Prescription guidelines, and the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) guidelines, in consultation with the SNNC, MOH, and clinical partners, to harmonize and strengthen provision of nutrition services.
- Conducted two TOTs with implementing partners,including EGPAF, ICAP, and University Research Corp. URC; clinical mentors (experienced nurse midwives and psychosocial experts); and representatives from SNNC, MOH, WFP, and UNICEF.
- Development and sharing of a curriculum for cascade trainings to be undertaken by the clinical mentors.
- Procurement and dissemination of 800 body mass index (BMI) wheels to support assessment of nutritional status in health facilities around the country.
- Provision of NACS counseling materials to the SNNC to address the need for facility-level job aids to support effective nutrition counseling.
- Provision of technical assistance to EGPAF to integrate NACS activities into their existing quality improvement approach.
- Conducted an assessment and drafted an accompanying report on the nutrition information that is being collected through the Health Management Information System/Central Management Information System to help inform and build the capacity of the government to improve nutrition service provision.