Remarkable Moringa

The Karawa hospital is using dried moringa leaf powder to help patients, mostly children, suffering from malnutrition. The moringa oleifera leaves are very rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. The dried leaves have protein content 16 times that of milk, iron content 3 times that of spinach, potassium content 15 times that of bananas, calcium content 8 times that of milk and vitamin A content 10 times that of carrots. WOW.

Marta planting Moringa

Marta Klein is becoming known as the moringa lady. She was given the Ngbaka name “Demomo” which means “good, pretty” saying “she has brought something good into our lives.” Marta has been working with two other people in the nutrition department of the hospital teaching them how to harvest the moringa leaves, dry them in the sun and pound them into dried powder.

Drying and pounding Moringa leaves

At the hospital they teach the mothers of the malnourished children in the pediatrics ward how to add 1 teaspoon of this leaf powder to the children’s food twice a day. Since most mothers do not have teaspoons, they use their fingers to add 8 pinchfuls to equal 1 teaspoon. Creative. The results are very encouraging.

Cindy planted 100 moringa seeds behind the Noren’s house while we were living at Karawa in March. 65 seeds germinated. Later she went with Marta and the nutrition team to plant 15 of these young trees at the Bokpasi Health Center, about 1 mile from the hospital. The other 50 trees were planted in a garden near the hospital.

Growing Moringa - seedlings ready to be transplanted

Cindy has accompanied the nutrition team for several visits to the Bokpasi Health Center where they taught the nurses and health agents about good nutrition and how to use moringa in cases of severe malnutrition. It was encouraging to hear last week that the head nurse Justin was already teaching what he had just learned to other people in the village. This involves growing a variety of plants and trees in their gardens, eating a balanced diet and making sure that pregnant mothers and young children eat enough protein and nutritious calories every day. Moringa is great as a short-term boost to those suffering from malnutrition, but the long term answer is knowing about good nutrition and eating a balanced diet.

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