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Plumpy'nut Saves Malnourished Children

Notes on Plumpy'nut piece on 60 Minutes.

Plumpy'nut saves Malnourished Children in Niger, Africa. Saw this piece on 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper. Plumpy'nut is a food substitute (or supplement) used to treat malnourished children. Basically a peanut butter-based paste, Plumpy'nut is compose of peanuts, evaporated milk, sugar (or sugar-like compound) and, most important, vitamins. It doesn't need refrigerating, is easy to manufacture, and since it's sweet, kids love it, as do their mothers after seeing the fast results. Severely malnourished children are cured in two to three weeks after starting a regime of Plumpy-nut.

Pilot study on Plumpy'nut in Niger, Africa, has been very successful. Mortality rates for children reduced. Occupancy in hospital is down. Lots of good to say about this small change. Wow!

Peanut allergies have not been an issue in developed countries, so no worries there (why?). Doctors without Borders passes out the stuff liberally, can always use more.

But it's not perfect. Not all malnourished kids can be saved. But it's a high impact, simple solution to cure many malnourished children.

Wouldn't this paste make kids very thirsty? Since potable water is so hard to find, does this cause problems?

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