As our COE patient population shifts from infancy to childhood and adolescence, the majority of patients now attend schools where they are provided with two meals a day through the Government School Feeding Programme. For some children, school meals may be their main source of food, therefore during routine dietetic consultation at the COE, caregivers of such children are advised to encourage their children to eat at school in order to safeguard their nutritional health.
In the last year, the Paediatric HIV/AIDS Teacher Training Programme, implemented by the COE, advocated for improved and nutritious meals in schools for all students, regardless of their HIV status, given that these meals form an important component of child energy and nutrient requirements.
The COE also provides nutritional supplements to all children who qualify and are registered with the dietician. In the last year our clinic experienced some challenges relating to consistent supply and cost of supplements, most of which are sourced from the Republic of South Africa.