Special Project: Research & Community Health
Beginning in 2017, ECF joined in collaboration with Project Peanut Butter, USAID, and World Food Program (WFP) on a three year research and community health project to reach malnourished children and pregnant women using RUTF produced locally in the Sierra Leone factory.
A Place in Need- Pujehun, Sierra Leone:
Pujehun is one of the most remote and underserviced areas of Sierra Leone. There is no electric grid, no paved roads no feeding programs, and no services identifying malnutrition in the district of about 400,000 people. This lack of health services hits malnourished children and pregnant women the hardest. And this dire need for establishment of services is clear, as Pujehun is a place where 19% of children die before their 5th birthday, and a majority of these children die from malnutrition.
Research Goal 1: Identify the most cost effective way to treat moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) to prevent children from deteriorating to severe acute malnutrition by providing RUTF produced in the Sierre Leone factory.
Research Goal 2: Test the effectiveness of combined nutrition and comprehensive health intervention for malnourished pregnant women to decrease stillbirth risk, fetal growth restriction, premature delivery, and prevent childhood malnutrition.
Current Project Results:
The outlook was stark, but something could be done, and after two years of work the situation on the ground in Sierra Leone is beginning to change.
- Operations have expanded beyond the Pujehun District with the addition of a 3rd base in the Western Rural District
- 88 clinics have been established
- 110 children are seen weekly at local clinics
- 1250 malnourished pregnant women are receiving quality care and treatment to deliver healthy babies
- 150 local Sierra Leoneans employed through ECF and Project Peanut Butter’s joint efforts
- 100% of the RUTF (Ready-To-Use-Food) utilized in this project is produced in Sierra Leone.
For the latest news and photos check out our blog, here.
Will you support this important project?
Since 2011, over 50,000 children have been treated with locally produced RUTF
ECF’s first project was a partnership with Project Peanut Butter (PPB) to establish Sierra Leone’s first internationally accredited RUTF production facility in 2011. With enough capacity to produce RUTF for all the severely malnourished children in the nation, the facility employs 10 people and locally sources peanuts, sugar and oil.
This RUTF facility is supplying product to other local organizations dedicated to fighting hunger and profits from sales will help the facility reach financial sustainability.
About Sierra Leone
The West African nation of Sierra Leone is still recovering from many years of civil war that left the nation one of the poorest countries in the world, with over 60% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. It has the 2nd highest rate of childhood mortality in the world and over one-quarter of all children are suffering from malnutrition.
- Over 78,000 children are severely malnourished
- Population: 5.6 million (2013)
- Ranked 183 out of 187 on the UN Human Development Index
- Life Expectancy: 48