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USAID AED Linkages

Women's nutrition throughout the life cycle and in the context of HIV and Aids

USAID, AED & Linkages

March 2005

SARPN acknowledges the ELDIS website as the source of this document -
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This module is intended to equip instructors with basic theory to train health workers in a life cycle approach to women’s nutrition. Women’s nutrition and care in the context of HIV and AIDS is integrated into the module. Health workers will apply the knowledge and skills in negotiation and interpersonal communication to help mothers and caregivers care for their own nutritional needs and feed their infants and young children optimally.


The purpose of this module is to explore issues regarding women’s nutrition: women’s nutritional status, causes of malnutrition, the effects of malnutrition on the intergenerational life cycle, the consequences of inadequate weight and height, micronutrient deficiencies, and interventions to improve women’s nutrition. The module also addresses the synergistic relationship between nutrition and HIV infection, the nutritional requirements of HIV-positive pregnant or lactating women and adolescent girls, and nutritional care and support of HIV-positive women.

Course Objectives

By the end of the training, the participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the prevailing women’s nutritional situation in their country.
  2. Explore the causes of malnutrition.
  3. Describe the malnutrition life cycle.
  4. Name messages on optimal women’s nutrition.
  5. Explain how HIV infection increases the risk of malnutrition in HIV-positive pregnant or lactating women and adolescents in resource-limited settings.
  6. Describe the essential components of nutritional care of HIV-positive pregnant or lactating women and adolescents.
  7. Describe the general dietary recommendations for HIV-positive pregnant or lactating women and adolescents.
  8. Map key interventions for women’s nutrition.
  9. List indicators for adequate women’s nutrition.
  10. Explain the extent of malnutrition in a community and how to prevent it by using the Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Cycle and community integrated nutrition job aid.
  11. Identify foods available in the community in each season.
  12. Master negotiation steps (ALIDRAA) to promote behavior change to improve women’s nutrition.
  13. Review the role of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the context of HIV and AIDS.
  14. Use a picture story to negotiate optimal women’s nutrition practices with community members.
  15. Develop an action plan for training health workers in women’s nutrition.
Training Agenda

The module contains 18 sessions, each lasting from 1 to 2Ѕ hours. Each session outlines specific learning objectives, duration, training methodologies, content, materials, and handouts. At the end of each day’s session, participants are asked to complete a daily evaluation that records 1) something they liked about the session, 2) something they will use and how, and 3) something they learned. The training includes a Ѕ-day practice on learning, listening, and negotiating and a Ѕ-day field practicum. The entire module takes 30 hours, or 4–5 days, to cover. Trainers can facilitate specific sessions as part of a continuing education program.

Training Methodology

The training approach in this module is based on the principles of behaviour change communication (BCC) of small doable actions and the widely acknowledged theory that adults learn best by reflecting on their experience. The participatory training approach uses the experiential learning cycle method and prepares participants for hands-on performance of skills. The course employs a variety of training methods, including demonstration, practice, and discussion, case studies, and role play. Participants also act as resource persons for each other. Participants benefit from clinical and community practice, working directly with adolescents, pregnant women, and mothers and caregivers of young children. Respect for individual learners is central to the training, and sharing of experience is encouraged throughout. Participants complete pre- and post-course assessment questionnaires and discuss their results at the end of the module.


Numbered handouts are included at the end of many of the sessions. These are printed in a distinctive font for easy identification and referenced in the “Methodology” and “Materials” sections. Trainers should allow sufficient time for learners to reflect on the handouts and discuss them with fellow learners.

Training Location

Wherever the training is held, a clinical or community site should be readily available to support practice in negotiating doable and optimal nutrition, care, and support practices with mothers and caregivers. Trainers should prepare the practicum site by coordinating the arrival of the participants and space for practicing learning, listening, and negotiation with clinic and community resource people.

Action plans

Provide sufficient time for participants from the same working areas (regions or organizations) to prepare training action plans using the training plan template (Handout 18.1). Distribute the template on the second day of training and explain how to fill it out (the key steps in planning a learning event: who, when, where, resources needed, for what, how (activities), and follow-up). Participants will present their training plans on the last day of training.

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