Sandra and Guida, six-month-old twins living in central Mozambique, were born premature and HIV positive. After a community activist identified them as at-risk of malnutrition, the twins began receiving nutritious, fortified food from WFP in addition to their antiretroviral treatment.
“The food helped my children a lot,” said Gina Jose, the twins’ mother. With no husband or parents, and no time to work, Gina Jose mostly relies on the generosity of her neighbours to feed her six children. “Before, they weren’t even crawling. Now, they look much healthier.”
Although their country has seen impressive economic growth in recent years following a long civil war, Mozambicans still face challenges. Food insecurity affects a third of the population, and 44 percent of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Moreover, an HIV epidemic continues to stretch the resources of households and communities. The HIV prevalence among people aged 15 to 49 is a staggering 11.5 percent, due in part to the country’s role as a transport corridor for the whole region.
WFP works closely with the government to reach communities and families most in need, many of whom have been hit by the double burden of food insecurity and HIV. In support of the National Nutritional Rehabilitation Programme, WFP provides trainings for health clinic staff on nutritional assessments, registration and food preparation, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
Proper nutrition is an essential component of effective and successful HIV treatment, allowing people living with HIV to stay healthy for longer.
“More people come to the health clinics to receive their HIV treatment now that WFP distributes nutritional food,” said Juvenaldo Zacarias Amós, the Director of theProvincial Department of Health in Manica Province.
Farida, who was diagnosed with HIV a year ago, began treatment and started receiving WFP food when she became very sick.
“I used to be very thin and had problems doing basic tasks,” said Farida. “After only two months, I felt much better.”