Juliet was introduced to WFP’s Health & Nutrition Programme five months ago, when her doctor noticed she continued to lose weight. At that time, Juliet weighed a mere 40kg. After receiving monthly nutritional supplements and food rations for her household, Juliet has gained 5kg.
In Harare and Bulawayo, WFP uses electronic vouchers to distribute food rations to beneficiaries of the Health & Nutrition Programme. Each month, a new voucher reference number is linked electronically to a person’s national ID number, which entitles them to collect food rations from a nearby shop.
Juliet chooses to shop at a supermarket in Kuwadzana, a low-income suburb near her home. Using her voucher, she is able to collect mealie meal (maize), beans and vegetable oil to share with her family. At the clinic, Juliet also collected 10kg of Super Cereal, a fortified nutritional supplement that WFP gives individual patients to support their treatment and nutritional rehabilitation.
Between 2004 – 2007, Juliet worked as a maid in Harare. However, after she tested HIV positive, she fell ill and was unable to continue her work. “I now understand the importance of food and good nutrition for people living with HIV,” she says. “My medication is strong and I need to have food in my stomach when I take the tablets.”
Juliet is pleased to have put on 5kg since joining the WFP programme. “When I was underweight and saw a car passing by, I was worried it would blow me away,” she says. Juliet has recently resumed doing her own laundry and says she is better able to get around and do her household chores since receiving WFP’s assistance.