In many countries throughout Africa, malnutrition is a major problem; in addition to effects on health, it can cause children to miss school due to lack of strength and inability to concentrate, putting them at a severe disadvantage. For children with HIV/AIDS, malnutrition can be a death sentence, leaving them open to opportunistic infections, in addition to effects on livelihood and education.
In the town of Papoli, Uganda, schools have set up a food assistance program in order to provide students with porridge once a day to combat the problem of malnutrition. However, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) found that overall nutrition could still be greatly improved by introducing phytoblend powder, an all-natural additive of vitamins and minerals, to their prepared porridge. This powder helps meet the daily nutritional needs of the children and helps combat the devastating effects of malnutrition.
MannaRelief generously donated 24 boxes of phytoblend powder, totaling more than 260 pounds, to AFCA for distribution in Papoli. Over the next six months, local staff will measure improvements in nutrition in order to demonstrate that the children are indeed growing healthfully and are therefore better able to attend school. In partnership with the pediatric clinic at the school, a plan has been put in place to assess the body mass index and other health needs of these children during the study period. Overall, this program will reduce opportunistic infections in HIV+ children, as well as allowing HIV- children to thrive in the absence of malnutrition and its effects.
Thanks to the generosity of Emirates Skycargo, the American Foundation for Children with AIDS was able to send nutritional supplements to Uganda to fight pediatric malnutrition.