In response to the growing problem of malnutrition in Grand Bois, ServeHAITI undertook a partnership with Meds & Food for Kids, Inc to bring the “Medika Mamba” (fortified, nutrient dense peanut butter) program to our Health Center in 2010.
The program targets children aged six months to five years old with moderate and severe malnutrition. We provide incremental amounts of the peanut butter mixture to parents to give at home over 12 weeks. The parent also brings the child to our Health Center for evaluation every one to two weeks depending on severity for height and weight measurements. At the visits, any other necessary medications are given to the child and health education regarding hygiene, clean water and nutrition is given to the parent.
Initial Pilot Project
We tested the program in June 2010 to ensure feasibility, effectiveness and community acceptance. In one week, our entire medical and nursing staff, Medical Director and lay community health workers received training in how to administer the program both in the Health Center and in the field (i.e. at resident homes).
By obtaining the first 200 kg of peanut butter free of charge from Meds for Kids, Inc. and a $500 private donation, we enrolled a total of 26 children, ranging in age from eight months to six years into the program. Each child participated for a three-month timeframe. We had amazing results!
Sofia is a five-year-old girl who came to the ServeHAITI Health Center in June 2010 with her father. Her mother had died a few years before in childbirth. Her father carried her several miles to the Health Center for treatment of malnutrition. She was very swollen because her kidneys and liver were beginning to fail. ServeHAITI admitted her to our Medika Mamba program for malnourished children.
We monitored her at the Health Center for several days to ensure that she would take the treatment, given her severe anorexic state.
Understandably, her father needed to return home to care for his other child. He had to carry Sofia home since she was too weak to walk on her own. We sent enough Medika Mamba with them to last for a couple of weeks until the next follow-up appointment.
After completing the Medika Mamba program, Sofia’s father walked her to the Clinic. It was nothing short of a miracle when we saw how much she had changed! She is happy, no longer swollen, and able to walk on her own. Her smile tells the story!
Since November 2010, we have enrolled an additional 118 children into the program with high numbers of documented success stories. Our physicians are deeply committed to preserving the lives of every malnourished child that comes into our care.
Supervised by U.S. Board Member, Cindy Broders, RN BS, the Medika Mamba program is also closely monitored for proper documentation of clinical data and follow-up procedures. Our goal is to design a program that allows each child to finish the 12-week treatment course for maximum benefit.
How You Can Help the Malnutrition Program
Give a donation. ServeHAITI is able to purchase Medika Mamba from a Haitian distribution company at $5.20 per kilogramg. Each child requires about 12 kgs as well as other support care. Therefore, $75.00 covers the cost of an entire three-month program for one child.