The Nitty Gritty on the PB program

Kapanga Childhood Nutrition Program: Fortified Nutritional Supplement for Severely Malnourished Children

The purpose of the proposed project is to establish a nutrition program for severely malnourished Congolese infants in the remote region of Kapanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with a Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). This product would be locally produced without electricity or water by locally-assembled hand grinders and mixing machines, thus giving local residents ownership of this program.

Severe childhood malnutrition is an endemic problem in rural regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where as many as 34% of children under 5 have stunted growth due to malnourishment and 4% are emaciated.  One approach that has been used to improve nutrition in rural Africa comes in ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs) that contain necessary nutrients for rehabilitation.  One such RUTF is Plumpy-Nut, an energy dense, peanut butter based lipid paste that resists bacterial contamination and requires no cooking.  It is essentially a mixture of milk powder, vegetable oil, sugar, peanuts ground to paste, and powdered vitamins and minerals.  Just a few spoonfuls a day of this mixture per day has been associated with almost complete recovery of malnutrition in infants.  Similar RTUF’s have been used successfully to treat malnutrition in Chad, Senegal, Ethiopia and Malawi.

In April, 2010, a trial program was tested in in conjunction with a Kapanga hospital.  4 US nurses provided the RUTF to 10 malnourished children, and after 4 weeks they showed a marked improvement in weight and general health.

This project puts production of the product and the management of the nutrition program into local hands.

·         By making their own RUTF, villagers will maintain the proper number of children in the program each week, based on the amount of RUTF they can prepare.

·         They will teach local mothers how to feed their other children to avoid having to place them in the program.

·         They will be able to take pride in their program, and have a sense of hope for their own futures.

·         The results of the nutrition program will give them dignity and control of their own lives.

·         Local health care providers will assess nutritional needs of their community, yielding a comprehensive study of the effects of RUTF on the development of children.



Supply cost for one year:

Oil:                           300

Milk:                       1800

Sugar                        500

Peanuts               2000

Total:                     $4600

Salaries costs for one year: administrator, nurses, mechanics:


Transport             1000

Total for one year: approx. $10,000 per year/ $833 per month

At 16 children/month: $52 per child for one month



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