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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

HIV/AIDS nutrition retreats in resource scarce African settings

Diana DuBois, MPH/MIA1, Kristin Duncombe, MSW, MPH2, Amanda Wood, MPH candidate3, Parisio Ssonko4, Elijah Telemwa4, Mary Ssewamuwe, RN4, and Kelley MacTavish-Mungar, DDS4. (1) Minnesota International Health Volunteers (MIHV), 122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite #210, Minneapolis, MN 55404-2480, 612 871 3759, ddubois@mihv.org, (2) Consultant, 20 rue Oberkampf, Paris, France, (3) Action for Children in Conflict, Brightwell-sum-Sotwell, Wallingford, England, (4) Minnesota International Health Volunteers, #2 Impala House, Kampala, Uganda

Issues: Uganda has made great strides in reducing the HIV/AIDS infection rate by using a multi-faceted approach. In 2000, Minnesota International Health Volunteers (MIHV) launched an innovative program in rural Uganda in close partnership with a local Ugandan non-profit organization.

Description: The program focus was to train non-traditional health providers, specifically local rural farmers and shopkeepers, to become HIV/AIDS counselors. The counselors conducted nutritional seminars and 3-day retreats for PLWHA and their caretakers in order to improve their diet by using locally available foods and to provide palliative care. MIHV has conducted over 40 retreats, reaching approximately 800 rural Ugandans. MIHV adapted and field tested a nutritional manual into the local language that had been created in Zimbabwe by a Dutch nutritionist.

Lessons Learned: The program has been extremely well received as shown by pre and post tests and monthly follow up meetings with counselors. It has led to a reduction of stigma and the establishment of community gardens which foster enhanced social supports and food security. It has shown that with proper training, local rural Africans can become positive agents to improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.

Recommendations: It is imperative to educate local African community members on ways to improve the quality of their lives through positive living. This is especially needed as anti-retroviral therapy will not be available to large segments of the African rural population in the next few years. This project could be replicated in many parts of rural Africa.

Learning Objectives: By the end of session, participants will be able to

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Training

Related Web page: www.mihv.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

International Health and HIV/AIDS Research

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA