7.6 Patient meals

7.6.1 Hospitalised patients

A CTC provides 3 meals per day. Meals are usually prepared on-site. The number of meals to be prepared is calculated before each meal, by counting the number of patients and multiplying the number by two to take attendants into account. A margin should be added for example if a patient on oral treatment during the day stays in the end overnight.
The calculation of quantities per person and per meal is based on 2100 kcal/person/day, whatever the age of the patient.
While setting up CTC, provide meals that do not require preparation (e.g. tea and biscuits or dry rations, fruit) until the kitchen is set up.
In certain contexts, meals are prepared and delivered by an external service. In this event, ensure that preparation is correct (hygiene) and that rations are sufficient.

A CTU is generally less well equipped than a CTC. Options include meals that do not require preparation, meal deliveries or food provided by the CTU but prepared by attendants in a dedicated area ("cooking area").
Sometimes all meals are provided by patients’ families that deliver them several times a day. This option should not be encouraged. It is too precarious, as it depends on the support and economic possibilities of families, particularly for children’s diets. Treatment facilities should preferably guarantee patients’ food.

In all events, ensure that patients eat or that they are fed by attendants or auxiliary nurses if they cannot feed themselves.

7.6.2 Patients observed for a few hours

A snack (e.g. dry ration, biscuits or fruit) should be offered to patients that stay over 4 hours under oral treatment in a CTC, CTU or ORP.

Note: also provide a meal for staff that work 8 to 12 hours without a break, day or night.