USAID-funded NuLife Food and Nutrition Interventions Program
Integrating Food and Nutrition Activities into HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment Programs
In Uganda ACDI/VOCA partnered with University Research Company and Save the Children to implement a three-year, USAID-funded food and nutrition intervention project called NuLife. Begun in 2008, the program worked to integrate food and nutrition activities into HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs. The program did this with a focus on adherence to and effectiveness of anti-retroviral treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), HIV-positive pregnant and lactating mothers, orphans/vulnerable children, and HIV-positive children.
The three primary objectives of the NuLife program include
- providing technical and financial support to the Uganda Ministry of Health, community-based organizations, NGOs, PLHIV networks, and other partners to integrate food and nutrition interventions in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs
- developing a high-quality, low-cost, culturally acceptable ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) made from locally available ingredients
- establishing a supply chain system for the delivery of RUTF to health facilities
ACDI/VOCA’s role primarily involved establishing and managing the commodity supply chain to support the project. Using the logistics expertise of both the NuLife project’s staff and ACDI/VOCA’s PL 480 Title II program staff in Uganda, ACDI/VOCA designed and implemented a short- and long-term distribution system for RUTF. The system allowed the transportation of commodities and other supplies, proper storage of commodities at food distribution points, and technical training of health center staff in commodity handling and distribution. To ensure that the supply distribution chain in Uganda was appropriate and sustainable, ACDI/VOCA worked closely with Uganda’s Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to share best practices and implementation strategies. ACDI/VOCA trained 28 health facility employees in supply chain and storage management and developed and executed delivery strategy of RUTF to 32 sites.
In distribution areas where the NuLife project and ACDI/VOCA’s Title II program overlapped, ACDI/VOCA incorporated NuLife project beneficiaries into the agricultural and income-generating activities of the Title II project. This ensured that beneficiaries received training in agronomy, health and nutrition, post-harvest handling, marketing, and savings and credit to promote the development of sustainable livelihoods. Through these activities, beneficiaries were able to transition out of food distribution activities and gain long-term skills for sustainable food security and health.