ASSIST Zambia NACS Progress Report
In October 2015, the USAID ASSIST Project Zambia team published an 11-page progress report that describes results achieved following the integration of nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) based on Zambia’s national quality improvement guidelines in eight out of 27 FANTA-supported sites in Kitwe District. Through technical support to the facility teams and capacity building of the district in improvement, ASSIST is strengthening nutrition services for PLHIV.
Key takeaways from the report are:
• Teams began with nutrition assessment and categorization of nutrition status because baseline data showed that only a few assessments were being done and in an incomplete manner, and nutrition information was not recorded in patient files. Teams did not know what proportion of their HIV clients were being assessed or if those clients’ nutrition status was being documented. Without this information, it was not possible to follow up with clients who displayed moderate or severe acute malnutrition.
• As the teams tested various interventions, there was an increase in the proportion of clients who were being assessed and categorized for nutrition status at the clinics in the eight sites, from 0 % in August 2014 to 78 % in September 2015. Once facilities were able to identify malnourished clients, they could offer them nutrition support services.
• The report includes a one page appendix explaining the key changes: 1) Introduction of attendance book for ART, 2) Involvement of community health volunteers and neighborhood health committee members to assess HIV clients; 3) Involvement of clinic staff, such as nurses, adherence counsellors, and pharmacy officers, to conduct assessment and categorization of HIV clients; 4) Changing the flow of clients in the clinic; 5) Incorporation of nutrition assessment and categorization on the list of vital measurements, and 6) Improving data management