[image credit: Project Peanut Butter]
Hospital visits for malnutrition are expensive and ineffective
In many countries where malnutrition is endemic, the predominant treatment involves a lengthy and expensive visit to a local hospital for milk-based formula.
Solution: A fortified peanut butter mixture can be provided to children at home
After visiting Malawi, Dr. Mark Manary from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri determined to find a calory-dense food product that would not require refrigeration and could be produced locally, with affordable ingredients. Eventually, he settled on a mixture of peanut butter, sugar, and vegetable oil, with powdered milk and vitamins added.
The mixture is produced in local factories and distributed by traveling clinics, who screen children for malnutrition and provide mothers in need with a 4-8 week supply of the product. Followup visits ensure that children are following the program.
So far, this home-based program has led to a 75-95% recovery rate, compared to a 25-40% recovery rate at the hospital
- Project Peanut Butter | RUTF and Home Therapy