Child Malnutrition’s Good News: Plumpy’nut and the like

MSF Treating & Preventing Child Malnutrition

MSF Treating & Preventing Child Malnutrition

This really is a post about good news, but first…

Child Malnutrition is one of the first 3 crisis profiled on the Top 10 Humanitarian Crisis list for 2008 released by MSF (Doctors Without Borders). As the MSF site explains:

“The World Health Organization estimates there are 178 million children that are malnourished across the globe, and at any given moment, 20 million suffering from the most severe form of malnutrition. Malnutrition contributes to between 3.5 and 5 million annual deaths of children under 5 years of age.”

The good news is that according to MSF’s recent press release siting a study published yesterday (Jan. 21, 2009) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), our world appears to be making progress in not only treating, but preventing malnutrition in OUR poorest countries!  As the JAMA study reports, “children in rural Niger who received ready-to-use food in addition to their normal diet were nearly 60 percent less likely to progress to the most life-threatening form of malnutrition than children whose diets were not supplemented.”

One such low-cost, nutrient-dense ready-to-use food solution seeing great results for Doctors Without Borders is Plumpy’nut:


I love what the Dr. Milton Tectonidis goes on to say regarding what the US Government can do to help preven childhood malnutrition:

“What we want is some small portioin of the Global Food Aid Budget in America to be shifted into higher value added products – these type of specific products that are targeted at the malnutrition in young children. If we can get that whole movement going, it will happen much faster.”

I know we can all donate on the MSF / Doctors With Borders website which is a great way to help and I’m also curious if any readers know how to get involved in this movement to get the US Government behind these value added products (assuming someone has already started it)?  Are orginizations like already making this a part of their agenda?  I would love to hear your comments?