Twelve month old Peterson came to GLA from an orphanage that was badly damaged during the earthquake. He weighed 9.5lb. There wasn't an ounce of fat or muscle on his bony frame. He was wasting away from malnutrition.God's Littlest Angels had recently been blessed with a small donation of a fortified peanut butter paste that is designed specifically to treat malnourished children. It is called Supplementary Plumpy.
Peterson was sick with pneumonia. He had a fever, stomach pains and chronic diarrhoea. He didn't want to eat, yet excellent nutrition was going to be critical to his his survival and revovery.
Severely malnourished children who do do eat are usually fed with feeding tubes. In Peterson's case, we opened a packet of Supplementary Plumpy. He refused to take anything from a spoon, so one of his nannies dipped her finger in the paste and spread it on Peterson's lips. The baby's eyes widened at the first taste of Plumpy Nut. He took a hold of his nanny's finger, and thrust it in his mouth. 'L'ap koupe dwet mwen!' (He'll bite my finger off) she squealed!'
It was a relief to have found something nutritious that this child wanted to eat. Supplementary Plumpy is made from ground peanuts, vegetable oil, powdered milk, sugar and a vitamine-mineral complex.
The transformation in our children who have been receiving just one packet of Supplementary Plumpy daily is very encouraging.
Jerry On Arrival
This week, as a result of the efforts of GLA France, we received a shipment of a similar product, know as Plumpy Nut. I had asked for two boxes, I received ten! This is enough to treat 26 severely malnourished children or 53 children who are mildly-moderately malnourished.
From now on, every malnourished child who arrives at the orphanage and who is able to swallow the paste, will be given Plumpy Nut. I am sure that most of them will 'bite our fingers' to get it!