One trip to Haiti and the images of the smiling, friendly children are with you forever. In Haiti, 42% of the population is under the age of 14. Of those, 42% of children under the age of 5 years are malnourished. Nearly 8% of the babies born never make it to age 5. These are grim statistics. They are the reason we feel so strongly about the Childrens’ Nutrition Program.
For the last 20 years the program has been providing Achamel, a mixture of beans and rice fortified with protein supplements to malnourished children. It has been a mainstay in fighting malnutrition, but in March of this year we received a grant from Meds and Foods for Kids, located in Cap Haitian, to train our clinical staff to distribute Medika Mamba. http://mfkhaiti.org/
This amazing new product, made in Haiti by Haitians using peanuts from local farmers, has revolutionized the treatment of severely malnourished children. Given in an 8 week course, this peanut butter based paste can restore a child to normal body weight and good health. The cost of this treatment per child is $65. A small cost for good health and a better chance at life.
Mothers, who often have to leave young children to go to the well or to work at the market are able to leave their children at home with family members knowing that they will be fed nutritious meals. Often this work can take them away from home for 4- 6 hours of the day. Walking long distances over unpaved roads.
With Medika Mamba, a ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF), there is no need to build a fire to feed a child. It comes in a foil packet and is stable up to 18 months.
With this program, families receive instruction in better family nutrition, family planning and other public health concerns. Please help us as we work to make the children of La Gonave healthy, happy and ready to learn.