Monday, October 29, 2012

How Peanut Butter Save Lives

November is Peanut Butter Lover's month, and I plan to celebrate! Now I realize that not everyone is as fanatical about peanut butter as I am, and that's cool. Some people just don't like it, others may have severe allergies, some just have never gotten in the groove of making peanut butter part of their regular diet, and some might be afraid of peanut butter due to well-publicized product recalls. All legit and respected.

Before you hit the back button on your browser, just take a look at the pictures below. Showing you what peanut butter can do might just change your appreciation for the golden spread.

Here's the story:

My little friend Dominique lives in northwest Rwanda in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes. When he was 7 months old, he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, a medical condition that affects 24 million children every year. A healthy 7 month old should weigh anywhere from 14-22 pounds; Dominique weighed just 10 pounds.

The globally-endorsed protocol for treatment of severe acute malnutrition includes Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a specially-designed peanut butter product that includes powdered milk and minerals and vitamins. RUTF is purchased by organizations like UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders and distributed to health clinics around the world. RUTF is proven and incredibly effective.

While living in Rwanda, I conducted an efficacy study for RUTF, and that's how I got to know Dominique and his mother Constance. When Dominique was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, he received a prescription for a six week treatment of RUTF. I saw him every week and also visited his family in their home. 

Over the six weeks of treatment, I saw Dominique grow and grow. The peanut butter stuck to his ribs. The pictures provide the proof that RUTF works! I also saw a dramatic change in Constance. Just look at her expressions in the two pictures above! 


You can probably understand why I'm a big fan of peanut butter. I've personally seen how the lives are children are being saved with this simple concoction of peanut butter, powdered milk, and minerals and vitamins. 

Would you consider celebrating Peanut Butter Lovers' month by providing RUTF for kids who need it? Consider supporting our good friends at Project Peanut Butter who make RUTF in Malawi and Sierra Leone and deliver it to kids in Africa. For just $45, you can provide a six week supply of RUTF for a child. Thanks!

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