In Haiti, PIH and Abbott harness local resources to fight childhood malnutrition
On November 2, the New York Times published an article about Nourimanba, a peanut and vitamin supplement produced and distributed to malnourished children in Haiti by Partners In Health.
In Haiti, local communities grow and harvest the peanuts used to make Nourimanba.
“The uniquely Haitian product…is an essential medicine for about 10,000 severely malnourished children a year,” writes Duff Wilson in his article “Making Nutrition a Sustainable Business in Haiti.”
“Even before the 2010 earthquake heaped more misery atop the poverty in Haiti, one in four children had stunted growth,” continues Wilson. “An estimated 2.2 percent of Haitian children under the age of 5 had severe acute malnutrition, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.”
In early 2008 Abbott Laboratories began supporting PIH projects in Malawi and Haiti. “In early 2009 we began thinking about how we could work with Abbott in a more comprehensive fashion, we decided to focus on our nutrition work in Haiti,” says PIH’s Brandie Conforti. “In December 2009, Abbott leadership toured our work in Haiti and then in May 2010 we formalized our partnership and began laying out plans for a Nourimanba facility. By June we were working on the design.”
“Groundbreaking on the new factory was delayed this year by an outbreak of cholera,” writes Duff. “Now groundbreaking is planned for January and production before the end of 2012.
“While the rudimentary production plant makes about 70 tons of Nourimanba for 10,000 children a year, the new one will push capacity to more than 350 tons and 50,000 children,” according to PIH’s Andrew Marx. “Children receive it daily for six to eight weeks. The new operation will also expand on the 300 or so farmers who have a guaranteed market for their peanut crops.”
“The relationship with Abbott goes beyond the Abbott Fund and it engages their employees,” continues Conforti. “It really has buy-in from the entire company and it models a new trend in corporate giving. What’s unique about this factory is the notion that eventually Nourimanba production will be self-sustaining.”
Read the New York Times article in its entirety.