Nutrition plays an important role in preventing illness and reducing morbidity and mortality in people living with HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases. A healthy diet can help people with these diseases better manage symptoms, maximize the benefits of medications, and enhance their quality of life. To prevent malnutrition and improve the nutritional status of people affected by infectious diseases, especially HIV and tuberculosis, FANTA supported the implementation of nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS), an approach highlighted in USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy as an effective means of increasing access to nutrition services and strengthening the health system. Our NACS User’s Guide provides program managers and implementers with a package of essential information and resources related to the approach.
Our work addressing nutrition and infectious diseases included the following activities:
- Collaborating with national governments to:
- Develop tools to support the implementation of NACS, such as, national guidelines, training guides, reference materials, job aids for social behavior change, and monitoring and evaluation tools.
- Develop pre-service training on the integration of NACS into HIV and tuberculosis care for medical and nursing education partnership initiatives.
- Integrate NACS indicators into health management information systems and evaluate the implementation of NACS services to inform scale-up.
- Collaborating with the Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance Project (LIFT) to strengthen referral links between facility-based nutrition services and community economic strengthening, livelihoods, and food security support.
- Collaborating with Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project in using quality improvement processes to enhance the rollout of NACS.
- Developing and supporting tools and resources, such as the BMI wheel and a costing tool for planning and budgeting of NACS services, to integrate nutrition into care and support for people living with infectious diseases.