Partners In Health Rwanda, commonly known as Inshuti Mu Buzima, University of Rwanda, and a social enterprise named Ihangane Project are making a "therapeutic food that can mean a lifeline for children suffering from malnutrition" using local products, as PIH Rwanda announced.
The alternative therapeutic food will be used to treat acute malnutrition among children.
“Making tweaks to the common peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), by replacing the peanut with beans — produced in abundance in Rwanda, will result in a cheaper product and solve supply chain problems associated with importing the former,” PIH Rwanda claimed.
Sabine Umutoniwase, IMB Nutrition Program Acting Director said that their goal is to bridge the gap in the treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition.
"We are now testing three formulations to come up with a final high-quality product, but that is also affordable,” she added.
In designing a new formula, the team maintained the features of the standard RUTF; energy-dense and rich in protein, ready to eat without any preparation, and can be stored long term without refrigeration.
Once this important medicine completes all the stages of trial and is approved, it will be scaled up across Rwanda and the region to solve the problem of malnutrition.