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

Report from Niger: Seeing the Sahel up close

Madame Cisse, STA Niger
Madame Cisse, STA Niger

This week I am traveling in Niger in West Africa with my Director of Operations, Maria Kasparian. We are getting an up-close look at nutrition programs that use Plumpy'Nut to treat cases of severe acute malnutrition. But first, we visited our PlumpyField partner factory, STA, which is located in Niamey, the capital city.

STA's operation is so impressive. This year, they will supply enough Plumpy'Nut to fully treat 300,000 severely malnourished children in Niger. In operation since 2005, STA now employs 150 people. While they save lives, they are also lifting up the local economy. 

Today, I just wanted to share with you this photo (above) I took of STA's fearless leader, Madame Cisse, who makes the success of her factory possible. 

In 2012 so far, Edesia's factory in Providence, Rhode Island has produced and shipped nearly 85,000 boxes of Plumpy'Nut to countries in West Africa. That is enough to save the lives of 85,000 children. 

As you already know conflict, drought, and rising food prices throughout the vast Sahel region have spurned a food crisis that needs the world's urgent attention. We thank you for your continued support, and for sharing our project with your colleagues, family, and friends. Together, we can make sure that each child in the Sahel is kept safe from harm.

View of the dry Sahel region from the airplane
View of the dry Sahel region from the airplane
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. 

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