Edesia, Inc.

Edesia's mission is to treat and prevent malnutrition for the world's most vulnerable children; our vision is a world in which all people have access to the basic human right of food and nutrition. We are committed to assuring that vulnerable individuals no longer suffer and die needlessly from malnutrition - a completely preventable condition. We treat all children as our own, and produce for them the lifesaving tools they need to overcome malnutrition and thrive. We act now, because the cost of inaction is too great.
Jun 5, 2012

A post from Ethiopia: Plumpy'Nut for Bethlehem

A community health worker in Ethiopia
A community health worker in Ethiopia

In April, I had the opportunity to attend a nutrition workshop in Ethiopia, in the heart of the Horn of Africa. It was organized by Nutriset, the inventor of Plumpy'Nut. As part of the experiential learning experience, a group of us visited a maternal/child health clinic in Addis Ababa. It was an opportunity for us to see how Plumpy'Nut is integrated into the community health programs.

The group first visited an exam room where children get checked for signs of severe acute malnutrition. While we were there, a little patient arrived, holding the hand of her mother: a two-year-old girl named Bethlehem. This energetic little girl with short hair and big, sweet eyes was wearing a jumper dress with bright chartreuse green tights and ruby red shoes. 

We watched the doctor measure Bethlehem's weight-to-height ratio and the circumference of her mid-upper arm. The values were noted in her medical history. The doctor showed me in the large resister how after eight weeks of Plumpy’Nut, Bethlehem had successfully climbed out of danger into the normal range for growth. She would only need one more prescription of  Plumpy’Nut—another 14-day supply. Everyone in the room was smiling. Bethlehem’s mother said, in her native Amharic, that she couldn't believe how much her daughter loved eating Plumpy’Nut.

Once outside in the clinic’s courtyard, I watched Bethlehem playing around her mother’s skirt, while they waited in line to have the Plumpy'Nut prescription filled by the clinic's pharmacists. Since I did not have my camera with me, I could not take photos of Bethlehem. Instead, I did my best to memorize the bounce in her step. I could barely take my eyes off the playful movement of her ruby red shoes. I wondered where those feet would carry her in life, now that the community health workers and Plumpy’Nut had made her healthy again.

May 1, 2012

Situation Update

A child in the Sahel w/ Severe Acute Malnutrition
A child in the Sahel w/ Severe Acute Malnutrition

An update from UNICEF came into my inbox on Monday, which I wanted to share with you. It's an update on the crisis for children and families in the Sahel region of Africa, where it is still estimated that 1 million children under the age of five are in danger of experiencing severe acute malnutrition. The report also notes that 3 million children soon will be diagnosed with moderate acute malnutrition, an only slightly less dangerous condition for a growing child. 

According to UNICEF, the number of health centers with facilities for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition across the Sahel has been scaled up from 3,100 in 2011 to over 4000 currently.

Each of these 4,000 health centers cannot be as effective without robust supplies of Plumpy'Nut. We appreciate your continued support of our project, which helps us to send as much of this lifesaving, nutritionally complete peanut paste as possible to organizations like UNICEF. 

Plumpy'Nut is the most effective therapy that doctors and community health workers can give to malnourished children. It is endorsed by the World Health Organization. Thank you for sharing our project with friends and colleagues. Collectively, we can do something to help ease the pain of this crisis for children and their families in the Sahel. 

Links:

Mar 26, 2012

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something."

A box is filled with lifesaving Plumpy
A box is filled with lifesaving Plumpy'nut

Today I came across the Humanitarian Action Plan 2012 for the Democratic Republic of Congo - which has not yet been translated from French to English. It was developed through a participatory discussion between hundreds of humanitarian organizations and provincial and national authorities.

I read that there are populations in the DR Congo that are so remote, they cannot be reached with assistance; that out of 1,000 children, 158 in the DR Congo will not make it to their fifth birthday; and that the average life expectancy for women in the DR Congo is 47 and 51 for men. In 2011, 171,770 children presented at health clinics with malnutrition, 110,607 of them suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 

The report acknowledges the incredible strength and resilience of the Congolese people. The authors also acknowledge the role that the humanitarian community; who, working in perilous conditions, have worked tirelessly on behalf of this poor, struggling country. 

I would like to acknowledge you today for supporting the DR Congo through our project, "Provide Plumpy'nut for the children in the DR Congo." You helped us send 483,598 sachets of Plumpy'nut to the DR Congo through our humanitarian distribution partner, each nutrient-rich packet containing 500 calories of hope for the children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something," said an unknown author. We wholeheartedly agree, and thank you for doing something - a very meaningful and important something - for the children of the DR Congo. 

Each box of Plumpy
Each box of Plumpy'nut can save one child's life

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