[ExI] (The Independent 2013-08) Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Tue Sep 17 00:44:58 UTC 2013

(It's about special food used for treatment accute malnutrition. According 
to UNICEF, there are millions - 6.9 in 2011 - preventable children death 
each year. Fortunately, the number dropped 50% from 12 mln in 1990. 
Preventable means, lack of vaccine which cost less than about 0.1 green 
alone or less than 1 green with portable fridge for transporting more of 
it, longer distance.  For more details, see "UNICEF Annual Report 2012", 
http://www.unicef.org/publications/index_69639.html . I have quite a few 
of my own problems, probably bigger than most of readers, but I have just 
bought a month, maybe two worth of this Plumpy. It's easy, they welcome 
any money at unicef.org - or, go find your regional office's website. So, 
I am sure you can easily beat me at this stunt, or forward this to your 
innumerable buddies, challenging them in my name - TR)




(... links deleted ...)

Plumpy'Nut: The lifesaver that costs... well, peanuts

   A  nut  paste used as a home-grown weapon in Africa's struggle against
   acute child malnutrition goes global
   [92]Sarah Morrison Author Biography

Sarah Morrison

   Sarah  Morrison  is  a  general  reporter  at  The Independent and The
   Independent on Sunday.
   [94]More articles from this journalist 
   [95]Follow Sarah Morrison 

   Sunday 25 August 2013

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   It  was dubbed the wonder product that "may just be the most important
   advance  ever"  when  it comes to battling acute child hunger. Now the
   life-saving  peanut  paste,  first  trialled  during a famine in Niger
   eight  years ago, is reaching two million of the world's most severely
   malnourished children a year.

   The  beauty  of  Plumpy'Nut, which was once said to be as important as
   the  discovery  of  penicillin,  is in its simplicity. The high-energy
   peanut-based  paste,  invented  by  a  crusading French paediatrician,
   includes  skimmed  milk  powder, sugar, vegetable fat and vitamins and
   minerals. It does not need clean water to swallow; it does not need to
   be  cooked  or  refrigerated, and it stays fresh after opening. It can
   also be given to any child in the most advanced stage of malnutrition,
   anywhere, by anyone.

   Experts  say  the  paste  has "radically" changed the care of severely
   malnourished  children  in  developing  countries. Importantly, it has
   allowed  them  to be treated in their homes, rather than in hospitals,
   and  it  has  "drastically"  reduced  their mortality rates. Now, with
   increased  supply  in  the  developing  world,  experts  suggest  that
   Plumpy'Nut,  alongside  generic  versions of the product, could become
   Africa's  "home-grown"  cure  for  severe acute malnutrition. It could
   even,  they  add,  be  used  to  prevent  it.  This  is no small feat:
   malnutrition  is a major killer of children under five, accounting for
   around  one  million  deaths  annually,  but affecting an estimated 20
   million children worldwide.

   Unicef,  the world's biggest buyer of high-energy peanut paste, bought
   enough last year to feed two million children, a 15-fold increase over
   the past eight years, and the highest amount on record. Nearly half of
   that came from African suppliers.

   For  Jan  Komrska,  a contracts specialist at Unicef's nutrition unit,
   reaching  the  two-million-children-a-year  mark was a "milestone". He
   added  that  the  actual figure is likely to be even higher, as Unicef
   and  other NGOs account only for 80 per cent of total sales. "It's the
   highest number of children we have ever reached and we want to keep it
   at that level," he told the IoS. He added that Unicef had been working
   to  "motivate  manufacturers  to  open  sites  in Africa", so that the
   product can be produced in the countries where it is used.

   There  was  just  one supplier producing the paste in 2005; now, there
   are 19 Unicef-approved producers in countries with some of the highest
   rates  of  malnutrition in the world - including Sudan, Haiti, Burkina
   Faso,  Ethiopia,  India  and Niger. Six of the factories in Africa are
   franchises of the French company Nutriset, producing Plumpy'Nut, while
   five produce generic versions. Three were approved in 2012 alone.

   Things  have  changed  radically since 2005, when the Plumpy'Nut paste
   was marketed by Nutriset. It was first given to around 60,000 children
   with  severe acute malnutrition during the famine in Niger. Ninety per
   cent   recovered  completely.  Within  two  years,  the  World  Health
   Organisation gave the product its seal of approval.

   During  the famine in the Horn of Africa two years ago, around 240,000
   children  were  fed  Plumpy'Nut.  Now,  the  product is patented in 38
   countries  across the world. And despite patent battles - two American
   NGOs  unsuccessfully  fought  for  the right to overturn the company's
   patent  in  2010,  arguing that it hindered them from making a similar
   and cheaper paste - the supply is increasing.

   Nutriset  set  up  a  franchise  and  now  works  with producers in 11
   countries  in  Africa,  Asia and America. Just over 40 per cent of its
   product  now  comes from abroad. And while the company argues that its
   patent  supports  local  production  and  "protect[s]  them from major
   competitors",  generic pastes have also been made in countries such as
   India and South Africa.

   Ismael  Barmou,  32,  is  the  deputy  executive  director of the only
   Plumpy'Nut  factory  in  Niger,  which  opened  three years ago. It is
   estimated  that  this  year,  the  factory, which employs more than 90
   people,  will  produce  enough  paste to treat 300,000 cases of severe
   acute  malnutrition. Mr Barmou said that having a locally made product
   is essential to combating malnutrition.

   "If  you  import peanut paste to Niger, it takes about three months to
   reach  us.  We look at the projections of what is needed for children,
   and  we  work  to that," he said. "This peanut paste is incredible. It
   can  turn  the  balance  from  a  negative curve to the kid being back
   almost to normal; that is amazing."

   For  Meera Shekar, the World Bank's lead health specialist for Africa,
   the  paste  could very well be a "home-grown solution" to severe acute
   malnutrition,  so long as local ownership and production increases and
   the  advantages  of  economies of scale are seized. It currently costs
   around  $50  (Ł30) to treat a child for up to two months. If the price
   is lowered, Ms Shekar believes it could be used as a "preventative" as
   well as a cure.
   [116]More in Africa ť 
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  92. http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/sarah-morrison
  93. http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/sarah-morrison
  94. http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/sarah-morrison
  95. http://www.twitter.com/S_R_Morrison
  96. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html
  97. http://www.independent.co.uk/service/legal-terms-amp-policies-759573.html
  98. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html
  99. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html
 100. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html
 101. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html
 102. http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article8783733.ece/ALTERNATES/w460/v234-Kenyav1.jpg
 103. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/almost-a-billion-go-hungry-worldwide-8007759.html
 104. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/peanuts-no-more-as-crop-price-soars-6282964.html
 105. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/malnutrition-costing-the-world-trillions-a-year-says-un-report-8644674.html
 106. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dr-john-sentamu-world-leaders-need-to-show-more-ambition-in-tackling-hunger-7763950.html
 107. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/islamists-hit-famine-relief-6264628.html
 108. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/NutsAndSeeds
 109. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Minerals
 110. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/CookingFats
 111. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Energy
 112. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Malnutrition
 113. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Food
 114. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Sugar
 115. http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Vitamins
 116. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/
 117. http://disqus.com/?ref_noscript
 118. http://disqus.com/

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