Strengthening Systems to Improve Nutrition Care, Support and Treatment in Malawi: Results from Balaka and Karonga Districts
In Malawi, USAID ASSIST has worked with the Government of Malawi and the FANTA and LIFT projects since February 2013 to support the MOH Nutrition Department and the Office of the President to improve nutrition care for people living with HIV and tuberculosis in Karonga and Balaka districts and to use the lessons from these districts to help the Ministry strengthen the national Nutrition Care, Support and Treatment
(NCST) program. The work has focused initially on two aims:
- To integrate nutrition assessment, care and support into general HIV care.
- To provide data on the number of malnourished clients to the district
and national level and to identify sources of funding to provide ready-to-eat therapeutic food and other support for the NCST program.
This technical report describes how improvement teams in eight facilities in the two districts analyzed how nutrition assessments were being done to identify changes that could be made to increase the number of clients assessed. Teams testing a number of changes, including: Shifting the point of assessment in the facility, using different types of staff to conduct assessments, developing a schedule for facility staff to assign responsibility each day for conducting assessments, and expanding the number of days nutrition services were available. The efforts of these teams led to improvements in both the identification and management of malnourished clients and the successful integration of nutrition assessment, care, and support into general HIV care.