Sunday, October 21, 2007

it's easy to get caught up on NOTHING

i was just sitting here threading a cord on a shoebag i'm making. my husband finished watching football while he wrote an essay and '60 minutes' came on. i couldn't find the remote so i left it.

it was anderson cooper, and he was talking about plumpy'nut.

plumpy'nut is a ready to eat, preparation-less peanut butter-like substance enriched with vitamins/nutrients... used in famine relief. it's not a bar, it's a paste... which means moms can feed it to infants on the tip of their finger, and the older kids can squeeze it into their mouths.

this product is somehow intimately connected to 'doctors without borders' which i know nothing about save for what med students have raved about. apparently doctors without borders will change your life.

so moms go to the plumpy'nut depot and pick up tubs or packets. i can't sit here and go through all the details of the broadcast, they were sad and inspiring... but i think the grave-digger in niger said it best: he's digging way less graves for small children nowadays.

so: imagine - you get married at 11, you have children by the time you're 15. you have an average of 8 children, and approximately 2 of them will die before they are 5 years old. say what you will about population control, this is these people's LIVES. if your child is malnourished... they may become 'anorexic' by the time they are 1, which means they will have no desire to eat and become listless. then the skin lesions start all over their skinny little arms and they gasp for air until their heart stops (which i've seen in real life, watching a gasping, dying person is no small thing, imagine a child).

PLUMPY'NUT? plumpy'nut. really. i am amazed no one thought of it sooner! it's saving lives. for better or for worse, peanut butter enriched with milk powder is saving lives? my god... every time you DON'T walk miles to get some plumpy'nut to save your babies lives... be thankful.

3 comments:

Field Notes said...

Plumpynut is full of protein which is very difficult to get in that part of the world. The climate is so dry. If you're not wealthy enough to have an animal to slaughter, nuts are a great alternative, but they are a rare and precious commodity too. It's difficult to remember how life saving that sort of food is when tomorrow we sit fat and comfortable on the couch watching TV.

Gigababy. Tips are appreciated! said...

it's too bad that nuts are deadly to some
:(

Punchanella said...

well, i looked into it. apparently nut allergies are relatively unheard of in these countries. so are the common symptoms of menopause and PMS...

makes you wonder about the pathology of those conditions.