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How the World Heath Organization provides Plumpnut for Hungrey Children

The French manufacturer, Nutriset, owns the trademark for Plumpy’nut. The product is classified  by the World Health Organization as a Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). In recent year, the UNICEP has made Plumpy’nut  a humanitarian relief medical supply needed to treat severe acute malnutrition. The lives of children in Malawi, Nigar and Darfur have been saved due to this medical treatment distributed to their families and available at feeding centers. Within four weeks after beginning the Plumpy’nut treatment  children who were extremely ill and  close to death, are healthy.

Previously,  the  only treatment option for severe acute  malnourished children was a fortified powdered milk  formula called  F-100. It had to be mixed with clean water which was often not available in developing countries. Therefore, to receive this treatment sick children had  to be hospitalized or treated at a inpatient feeding clinic.  As patients these children were given the F-100 through a  tube. It would take several months for some of them to recover. This was extremely hard for the children and their families. It usually required traveling long distances and finding overcrowding conditions at the hospital or feeding center. As a result, many mothers would keep their children at home until  they were extremely ill, sometimes almost to the point of death. If the child recovered, once they were  home, many often relapsed due to a lack of proper nutrition.  

Plumpy’nut was created by Andre’ Briend, a French doctor in 1999. The reason for the development of Plumpy’nut was due to his years spent  helping in humanitarian crises. He realized something needed to be created to save the lives of children living  in remote and developing  countries. The treatment option had to be simple enough parents could administer the required dose at home. What he created is a therapeutic ready to use supplement.  It does not require any food preparation, water or need to be refrigerated and is cheap to produce. Each dose is packaged in individual foil pouch making it simple to administer or for a children to take without assistance.

What is this miracle treatment saving the lives of African children called Plumpy’nut?  It  is a high calorie high protein peanut based paste.. The formula is  roasted peanuts, vegetable oil, powdered milk, and powdered sugar. The vitamins contained in each foil pouch are A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K, along with the minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, iodine, sodium, and selenium. The proper balance of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals made it  easy to digest. The zinc and protein help strengthen the immune system and  increase muscle development.  

The standard treatment period is four weeks  under the supervision of a licensed physician  or  nutritionist. Three or more dosages of Plumpy’nut are given daily during the treatment period. Weekly follow-up visits are required to ensure the child is gaining weight and improving overall.  Once the child is at the normal weight for their age, only one dose of Plumpy’nut is needed for good health. Children can receive their daily doses of Plumpy’nut at a nearby feeding center  or  at home.

Plumpy’nut is a highly nutrition therapeutic humanitarian food aid for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children. Although it has the same nutrition value as the previous popular treatment F100 it tastes better and works faster. The easy packaging and taste is what makes the different between Plumpy’nut and F-100.. With Plumpy’nut  children no longer have to be hospitalized but can remain at  home with their  families and receive the medical treatment they need to regain their strength, gain weight and get better. Hopefully in the next few years, with the help of Plumpy’nut and similar food aid, there will be no more malnourished children in the world.