A key element of the DREAM approach in the struggle against HIV and AIDS consists of complementing the offer of treatment with adequate nutritional supplements. In Mozambique, the problem of nutrition is an emergency that affects large brackets of the population, especially the most vulnerable children and people with HIV.
Children on the DREAM programme are given special attention. They receive weekly visits and are enrolled in a home care programme, and their family is regularly given a food package (around 25 kilos per month), which is all-inclusive from a nutritional perspective, completed by reinforced foods (special flours, milk and so on). A special nutritional and medical file is compiled for each little patient who is severely malnourished, and if necessary an ad hoc dietary plan is drawn up.
The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Verona Vicenza Belluno e Ancona has contributed the sum of € 100.000,00 for the implementation of a project entitled “AIDS emergency and natural disasters: The work of the DREAM programme in Mozambique to support vulnerable people suffering from food insecurity.” The contribution of the foundation, centred round the DREAM centres of Machava (Maputo) and Mangachingussura (Beira) has allowed for the expansion of the home care service for patients affected by HIV and of nutritional assessment and supplements for patients on treatment.
Nutritional assessment and supplementation for vulnerable people affected by HIV, who are helped through the DREAM programme, play a fundamental role in survival. Scientific evidence has shown that nutritional support alone reduces mortality among this category of vulnerable people by 70% within a year. Moreover, the support in itself is crucially important given the constant natural and structural instability of the country, which each year is caught up in natural events that cause situations of strong dependency on external food sources necessary for survival.
The project, not least thanks to the contribution given by the foundation, aims to improve the quality of life of patients receiving treatment from DREAM centres, leading to increased working capacity of the same patients and creating the pre-requisites for a higher rate of school attendance among children who are either infected by HIV or born healthy to HIV-positive mothers.