Nourimanba: Lifesaving Miracle Food

Fighting Malnutrition and Poverty in Haiti

Posted on Dec 16, 2019

boy enrolled in malnutrition program in rural Haiti
Lovenyou Pierre, a 17-month-old malnutrition patient, peeks from behind his mother's legs outside his home in Boucan Carré, Haiti. Photo by Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In Health

In Haiti, one in five children is malnourished and faces physical and cognitive stunting. Severe malnutrition is a life-threatening condition and, when not addressed aggressively, is a leading cause of death for children under 5 in Haiti, and all around the world.

To tackle this problem, staff across 12 hospitals and clinics working with Zanmi Lasante, as Partners In Health is known in Haiti,  distribute a fortified, peanut-based food supplement called Nourimanba to families of children diagnosed with malnutrition. By eating several servings of protein- and vitamin-rich Nourimanba each day in addition to their meals, children quickly gain weight and grow inches within weeks of starting treatment. Last year alone, 8,500 children were treated for malnutrition at PIH-supported facilities.

Nourimanba is produced in a state-of-the-art PIH facility that employs more than 50 people in rural Haiti to turn the crops of local peanut farmers into 120 metric tons per year of the lifesaving supplement, which staff refer to as medicine. In this way, Nourimanba not only helps malnourished children recover, but it also stimulates the local economy by producing local jobs and larger markets for peanut farmers, thereby tackling the root cause of malnutrition: poverty.

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