Monday, 25 June 2007

Plumpy'Nut the wonder food

Photo from Nicholas Reader/IRIN

Severe acute malnutrition kills an estimated one million children each year, according to UNICEF.

Plumpy'Nut is a nutritional product, a ready to use therapeutic food, designed to save the lives of starving children. The recipe was devised by André Briend, a paediatric nutritionist working in Malawi. He had attempted many different ways of providing enough nutrients to severely malnourished children without them having to be admitted to a treatment unit. The story goes that he had an inspiration when looking at a jar of Nutella, a chocolate spread.

After ten years of development, the product is now proving revolutionary. Its great advantages are:
  • no water has to be added, reducing the risk of infection
  • the child can stay at home even if hygeine conditions are not perfect
  • it comes in foil covered bars or in plastic containers
  • it can be stored in tropical conditions for 3 - 4 months
  • it is palatable and soft
  • can be eaten by children over 6 months of age
  • children like it
And most of all, you have to love the name!
Full report from IRIN

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