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Saving lives with peanut paste

13 November 2018, Impact of Our Work

Peanuts saved Jacob's life

In many ways, four-year-old Jacob* is just like any other little boy his age. He likes playing with his friends, enjoys stories from his mother and is never happier than when eating! 

Yet Jacob has more reason than most to look forward to his next meal. In rural Kenya where he lives, there’s very little food to go round. 


His mother, Alice, told us more. “It is because of the drought that we are hungry,” she explained, “Because our livestock has died.” Losing their three goats was a bitter blow to the family and left them struggling desperately for survival. With no milk or meat to live on, it’s no wonder that little Jacob grew sick – painfully thin, weak and wracked with diarrhoea. But thankfully, Save the Children has set up an outreach health centre not far from his home. And there, he was diagnosed with malnutrition and given a nutrient-rich peanut paste to save his life.


It took eight long months to nurse Jacob back to health, but he was lucky enough to make a full recovery. “His condition is now better,” says his relieved mother. “I can’t see any problems with him any more.” Now expecting another baby, she too has received help from our health centre – including bags of special flour that she can turn into nutritious porridge. She’s also been taught about the importance of hygiene and given a bucket, bars of soap and a towel to encourage regular hand-washing. 

“I am grateful for Save the Children’s work in this area,” she says, as she watches Jacob play with his brother. Having our health centre close at hand has changed everything for the family – and given them hope for the future.

Images: Jordi Matas/Save the Children
*Name changed to protect identity

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