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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Spreading good health

Peanut butter makes a difference.

The name Project Peanut Butter sounds like a school activity. But, in fact, it’s a revolutionary method for saving thousands of children that was instituted by pediatrician Mark Manary.

Pediatrician Mark Manary talks with
Pediatrician Mark Manary talks with a Malawian mother about the peanut-butter product he developed that helps children recover from malnutrition.
The member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, St. Louis, along with his wife, nurse Mardi Manary, made a two-year mission trip to Tanzania. In 1994 he started working with a new medical school in the small southeastern African country of Malawi. He learned that the recovery rate for malnourished children who received hospital treatment was about 20 percent. He believed that number could be better.

“We could stop children from dying but rarely could we get them to recover,” Manary said. “We needed to try a home-based therapy so we could get the kids out of the hospital where they did nothing but lie near other sick kids and pass germs around.”

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