By Christine Hamann - Outreach Coordinator, Partners In Health
PIH uses two therapeutic foods to treat and prevent severe pediatric malnutrition. Nourimanba is a “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food” made from a peanut butter base combined with milk powder, vegetable oil, sugar and a specially formulated vitamin mix for malnourished children. Nourimanba can be offered as an outpatient treatment; receiving treatment at home means that children are prevented from being needlessly exposed to other ill children in the pediatric ward, which is a particular risk for children whose systems are compromised by malnutrition. Having to tend to a hospitalized child is also particularly difficult for many impoverished families we serve in Haiti, who often have several other children at home and live at great distance from clinic, so this outpatient aspect of the treatment is crucial. For children who are who are moderately malnourished or transitioning off Nourimanba, Zanmi Lasante provides a locally produced mixture of milled grain and legumes called Nourimil.
Both Nourimanba and Nourimil are prepared and packaged in Zanmi Lasante’s production and distribution center in Cange. Local in-house production of Nourimanba and Nourimil stimulates the local economy by employing the local workforce and encouraging local agriculture. Because the Cange production facility is too small, we are currently working with a partner to build and equip a new facility to produce Nourimanba and Nourimil. This facility will allow for better quality control and potential future expansion of our operations.
Even with the smaller space, Zanmi Lasante produced over 60,000 5lb bags of Nourimil, and over 56,000 kgs of Nourimanba in 2010. Attached you will find a monthly breakdown of production:
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