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Saving Futures. Saving Lives. The Story Of Project Peanut Butter
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Saving Futures. Saving Lives. The Story Of Project Peanut Butter
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Children with malnutrition are being given a radical new treatment that is cheap and incredibly effective: fortified peanut butter. Best of all, mothers can administer the ready-to-use food at home, eliminating the need for hospital stays, and empowering families to treat themselves.

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Produced by Jeffrey Davis.

Learn more about Project Peanut Butter.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

VOICEOVER
Malnutrition. Every year, malnutrition kills twice as many children as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Yet there is hope. An inexpensive, revolutionary therapy is saving children's lives right now.
TITLE
Project Peanut Butter
VOICEOVER
Since 2004, Project Peanut Butter has been treating children in Malawi, a country with one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. As a faculty member at Washington University Medical School, Dr. Manary founded Project Peanut Butter to bring the most effective malnutrition therapy to the children who need it most.
TITLE
Alefa. Age: 7 months, 4.4 pounds underweight. Day 1 of treatment.
VOICEOVER
Alefa is seven months old. She is just entering the critical six-month- to two-year-old window where children are most vulnerable to the impact of malnutrition.
JASON REINKING [Medical student and volunteer]
Alefa is severely malnourished and marasmic, as you can see from the extremely small arms.
VOICEOVER
Severely malnourished children at this age are at great risk. Untreated, more than half will die.
TITLE
Pilirani. Age: 2 years. Severe edema. Day 1 of treatment.
VOICEOVER
Pilirani is two years old. Severely malnourished kids often swell up with edema, a painful buildup of fluid under the skin. Pilirani's swelling is so severe he can barely walk. Until recently, the best treatment available for Pilirani and Alefa was one to two months of hospitalization. But, even in the best rural hospitals, only 25 to 40 percent of children fully recover. Project Peanut Butter gets much better results by distributing a special, ready-to-use, therapeutic food to the mothers, who will take it with them and treat their own children at home. Ready-to-use, therapeutic food is powerful medicine. This peanut-based formula is effective, easy to use, and empowers mothers, and most kids love it. It's more than just peanut butter. Over years of careful experiments and testing, Dr. Manary and his colleagues developed a new formula. It's a precise blend ideal for bringing children back from the edge of starvation.
TITLE
Milk powder. Roasted peanuts. Vegetable oil. Sugar. Vitamins. Minerals.
VOICEOVER
The results are dramatic. Six weeks after their first visit, Alefa and Pilirani return for one of their checkups.
JASON REINKING
What we've seen over the course of the last six weeks has been really good progress, so we're hopeful that she'll come completely up to a healthy weight for this child.
ALEFA'S MOTHER
I want the peanut butter program to keep going. Without it, my children would probably be dead by now.
VOICEOVER
After six weeks of treatment, Pilirani is on a promising path. He is now likely to remain healthy and avoid lingering consequences.
DR. MARK MANARY [Founder and Director, Project Peanut Butter]
Ninety-five percent of these children are recovering. Ninety-five percent. That is really something powerful.
VOICEOVER
And this success rate comes at a fraction of the old therapy's cost. Today, saving one child costs the project a total of about USD$25. Project Peanut Butter has an ambitious vision: to save over 2,000,000 children from severe malnutrition by 2015.
ROSEMARY GODWA [Lead Nurse, Project Peanut Butter]
I wish Project Peanut Butter to grow like a baobab tree, which starts small, and grows big, big, big, bigger, and biggest, so it can reach every needy child.
VOICEOVER
You can make a difference. Please, go to projectpeanutbutter.org. Learn more about this urgent, life-saving work. Remember, there is hope.
TITLE
www.projectpeanutbutter.org