Lifesaving Plumpy'Nut for Children in the Sahel

Nov 27, 2012

In Burkina Faso, education is improving food security

A healthy baby in Burkina Faso
A healthy baby in Burkina Faso

“Malnutrition is not really about lack of food,” explains Deputy Representative of UNICEF Burkina Faso Sylvana Nzirorera. “It’s about how much a mother knows about feeding a young child, and this is linked to the whole issue of educated mothers ... " 

Here at Edesia's factory in Providence, Rhode Island, we often get asked how Plumpy'Nut helps end the larger problem of childhood malnutrition. It's a great question. Plumpy'Nut itself is a frontline tool used in nutrition centers all over the world, where severe acute malnutrition is prevalent, to save lives. It's so successful, over 90% of children in a Plumpy'Nut treatment program will recover and continue to grow and thrive. 

The other long-term benefit of Plumpy'Nut is that it starts an important conversation between a mother (or father) and a community health worker or doctor. When a mother seeks treatment for her sick child, she comes into contact with new knowledge about the importance of nutrition itself. This helps her sick baby, her other family members at home, and herself.

Often times, severe acute malnutrition is the end result of an unvaried diet. That's why organizations like UNICEF are emphasizing education to reduce childhood malnutrition. Today, I want to share with you a short video from UNICEF Burkina Faso (see link below), showing how mothers are learning how to prevent malnutrition in the first place. It's very encouraging to see. 

With 20 million children in our world suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and over 1 million of them living in the Sahel, this is exactly the kind of solution that will help reduce the need for Plumpy'Nut in the future. 

In the meantime, our factory will continue to make Plumpy'Nut for the children who don't have time to wait for the longer-term solutions. Thank you for your continued support. We could not reach as many of these children without your help and caring. 

With gratitude and best wishes for a bright and hopeful holiday season from all of us at Edesia. 



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Edesia, Inc.

Providence, RI, United States

Project Leader

Heidi Reed

Providence, RI United States

Where is this project located?