“Malnutrition is really the most common cause of death in children under 5 around the world,” says PIH Chief Medical Officer Joia Mukherjee. “You have to treat this as a medical emergency.”
Across the world, a staggering 200 million children suffer from malnutrition. This debilitating condition is the lurking giant behind some of the world’s greatest killers – from malaria to dehydration – and is indirectly responsible for the death of some 6 million children each year. In young children the effects of malnutrition are magnified, and if untreated, cause life-long debilitating conditions that can be passed on to future generations.
“Although it’s a massive problem, it’s also a treatable problem,” adds Dr. Mukherjee. Two Degrees Food is partnering with Partners In Health to address malnutrition in developing countries by selling all natural food bars in the US.
“For every bar we sell in the United States, we give a medically formulated nutrition pack to a malnourished child in Africa,” says Two Degrees Co-founder and CEO Lauren Walters. “Our aim at Two Degrees is to give away millions of nutrition packs.” These nutrition packs, known as ready-to-use-therapeutic foods (RUTF), have been shown to be up to 95% effective at completely curing severe acute malnutrition in children.
The Two Degrees model relies on partnerships with global development groups working to alleviate malnutrition in communities all over the world, and Partners In Health was the first of these partners. So far, the partnership has provided 21,600 RUTF treatment packs to malnourished children in Malawi, and is expected to expand to PIH’s projects in Rwanda, Lesotho, and Haiti in the coming months.