Monday, April 14, 2014


A recent study which has been done at BSMMU showed that 60% of the children are severely malnourished at the time when they are diagnosed with cancer.  This is most likely due to a number of factors; the overall rate of malnutrition in children in Bangladesh is 40%.  Children with cancer who get treated at BSMMU represent families of very low socio-economic status, who probably have less ability to feed their child adequate food or provide food which is rich in nutrients.  Thirdly having cancer causes children to become malnourished.

Unfortunately, being malnourished means that a child has a greater chance of getting a serious infection while being treated for cancer and they are more likely to die.  I have been hoping to address this issue thorough a nutritional rehabilitation project to give high calorie feedings to all malnourished children at the start of cancer treatment; however, there were no appropriate feeding products available in Bangladesh.

Finally I have made contact with a local business owner who manufactures high quality, high energy biscuits and supplements.  His company has developed a product similar to 'Plumpy Nut' which is a RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) with a chickpea base which is more acceptable in Bangladesh, as peanuts are not a common food.

For more about Plumpy Nut, check out'nut. Basically it's a peanut based product that requires no mixing or refrigeration and can be used to re-feed malnourished children.  It provides all the nutrients which your body needs.

Here are some photos of the Bangladesh product which I have been given.  I'm excited to start using it to treat the malnourished kids with cancer!

2 month supply of high energy biscuits for the welcome packs

Glucose Biscuits (written in Bengali), not sure where the fruit comes in...

92g of goodness = 500 kcal

There are actually 2 options, one with a chickpea base and the other with a rice/lentil base.  

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