Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda - A Support Group Teaches Healthy Living
The fifth blog in our “Fighting Pediatric AIDS in Uganda” series introduces us to the Amatsiko Family Support Group at Ibanda Hospital in southwestern Uganda. Amatsiko is a unique psychosocial support program that offers HIV/AIDS education and support while exploring other important health topics, including nutrition. In this post, support group member and nutritionist, Maria, offers a glimpse into a recent Amatsiko meeting where the group learned about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
October 12, 2011
Amatsiko Family Support Group members. (Photo: James Pursey)
The Amatsiko Family Support Group has been in existence for five months and is going strong. Amatsiko means hope and our goal is to educate members about HIV and encourage the use of integrated health services at Ibanda Hospital.
We usually have 30-70 men and women attend our meetings, and the group is growing all the time.
We discuss HIV issues, tuberculosis, family planning, safe sexual practices, and many other topics. Each week we focus on a single issue. Today we are covering nutrition.
Maria displays one of the meals she is sharing with the support group. (Photo: James Pursey)
I am a health worker here at the hospital, but I am trained in nutrition, so I am leading today’s discussion.
The goal of the session is to show how to take care of your family’s nutritional needs using inexpensive, local ingredients. Today I have brought dried fish, rice, and many nutritional fruit and vegetables such as pineapple, carrots, pumpkins, bananas, pawpaw, and cassava, for display and discussion.
Amatsiko members gather around ingredients they can use at home. (Photo: James Pursey)
I demonstrate how to prepare and serve the food, using everything including banana leaves, to make nutritional meals. I show how to crush and mix foods into pastes for children and how to balance the meals with juices and fiber so that each meal supports health and growth.
(Photo: James Pursey)
Nutrition is an important part of staying healthy. By demonstrating how to prepare nutritional meals, we are helping families put health first.
(Photo: James Pursey)
Click here to read the previous post from the "Fighting AIDS in Uganda" blog series.
Sanyu Nkiinzi is a Communications and Outreach Officer for the Foundation, based in Uganda.