This week has been focused on training in improving nutrition in our communities. We did a class on preparing enriched porridge for children over 6 months to increase the weight drastically in severely malnourished children. The porridge is made with a starch: millet, corn, or rice, a protein: beans, peanuts, or soy, and either moringa or bananas. For severely malnourished children they are fed a liter a day for 12 days to get their weight up to a healthy rate.
Before a child is 6 months of age mothers are strongly encouraged to only breast feed, many mothers breast feed up to two years though. However, many children become malnourished if they switch to formula because of diarrhea from dirty water and the high cost of formula, which leads to many mothers over diluting the formula. The barriers to exclusive breast feeding are that mothers have to go back to working in the field and breast feeding regularly is challenging and misconceptions about breast feeding.
Today we learned how to make tofu for communities that don’t have much protein available. It’s a pretty long process, but it can be an amazing project to start with a women’s group for economic opportunities and improving nutrition in their families.
Unfortunately, Togo is where electronics come to die and my MacBook broke yesterday. It seems to be a problem with the hard drive, but I’m not really sure how. It’s probably a combination of heat, dust, and electrical surges, but this means my ability to communicate is only going to be that much more difficult. I’m going to look into buying a cheap laptop in Lome next week because I need to be able to do reports for Peace Corps and eventually apply for grad school, but we shall see what happens. C’est la vie au Togo. Or as they say in Togo, Ca va aller.