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Moringa for Health    Moringa leaves                         <<back>>

Report 2 on Project Moringa in Mali
of Able and Willing

Mamadou Dia’s trip to Manabougou, Mali and Clinical Trials
January - December, 2013

It was a very productive trip this year. The Moringa forest is shaping up with some plants growing taller and flowering while some others are still sprouting.  The farm in Manabougou has more than 2,000 Moringa plants/trees. They are growing very well; some are left to grow tall and big to produce pods for seeds while others are harvested for leaves by cutting the top of the plants so that they grow more branches and leaf faster.     

The bi-weekly leaf harvest for the “Centre de Santé de Manabougou” clinic continues.  The villagers are very grateful because the children are becoming healthier and happier. The change in the children is very noticeable.

 

   
Figure 1: Moringa Trees for leaves at DiaMfarms    
   
Figure 2: Flowering Moringa Trees for pods  

We continue to try many different solutions to prevent possible fire devastation like the one suffered by the farm in February –March 2012. Since the hope of raising the necessary funds to build a fire wall eluded us, we are trying other fire prevention methods.

 We gathered and partially buried used tires as a fence around the farms perimeter to deter intruders.  DiaMfarms also bought a brushy adjunct strip of land to expand its control over the grassy area to the main road.  Although there is already enough space to grow lots of Moringa trees, this measure is to prevent a possible brush fire coming from that corner.  

 In addition, we built a new two bedroom compound and hired a new custodian, Job Dembele, who will keep eyes on the farthest areas of the farm that are vulnerable to fire risk.  Also, a new well was hand dug as a water source to supply that area’s plants.   Job will also tend to the many other cash crops we are planning to plant (orange and olive trees, bananas, soybeans, corn and beans) for future sustainability of DiaMfarms.

 
Figure 3:  Banana plants with Moringa trees.

  New At DiaM farms - Manabougou, Mali

                       

 
Figure 4: New well is 1.5m in diameter, 9m deep.
  
Figure 5: The two bedroom building in progress at the new compound
    
Figure 6: The new compound close to the farm
property line. 
   
Figure 7: Finished building in the new compound 
 
 
 
               


Visit to the Centre de Santé de Manabougou

Happy children running around

The health technicians at the “Centre de Santé de Manabougou” have expressed their satisfaction about the Moringa for Health program.  They praised the benefits of the Moringa powder (The Health Powder) on the health of the children who enrolled in the program. They also, expressed appreciation for our dedication to the continued effort to supply “The Health Powder” to the children.  They also voiced their satisfaction with children’s parents for keeping up with the distribution schedules. 

All the children enrolled in the Moringa for Health program have done tremendously well. The first group of children that started in October 2012 has produced success stories, for example the case of Mabalia Wonogo.  At the start of the program, she weighed only 16.5 lbs at 22 months.  Now, she weighs 24 lbs at 34 months old.  Her appetite and energy level has dramatically increased and she looks pretty with nice wide eyes and better hair color.

I could not be more proud for what the Moringa Project has done so far to make such a difference in Mabalia and the many other children’s lives.

The pictures below are the illustration of Mabalia’s change, before and after. The Moringa diet has given hope to her and her family.  They said thank you.

 
Figure 8: Before. 

Mabalia Wonogo with her mother enrolled in the “Moringa for Health”
program at the Centre de Sante de Manabougou.
Oct. 31, 2012
Figure 9: After.
Mabalia Wonogo 13 months later    
Dec. 13, 2013
 

Mr. Bagayogo, the head health technician was without a doubt more excited than anyone else about the results of the Moringa for Health program.  He conducted two more screening sessions to enroll new children into the program (see video).  Twenty new children were registered for the second phase of the program.  Of the twenty one children from phase one, all but two graduated. These two were registered in phase two to continue their nutrition program.

That makes a total of forty one children to date enrolled in the Moringa for Health Program.

   
   
Figures 10 & 11: The screening of children to identify acute cases of malnutrition in Manabougou. 

  

The most interesting, surprising news from this trip came on November 11, 2013 when I started receiving phone calls from friends and relatives inviting me to watch a national television program being shown that night. “Mamadou, if you are home turn on the TV there is a program on Moringa Oleifera”; they informed me. 

The next day the news was widespread and I learned that a few NGOs had been working with a Malian nonprofit organization on Moringa for four years.  They have invested seven million CFA francs (about 1.5 million US dollars) on the project. They are working in four villages training the inhabitants how to grow, harvest and process the leaves to make Moringa leaf powder.  In the end Moringa was incorporated in the villages’ populations’ diet.  Many claimed to receive exceptional benefits from the daily consumption of the powder.  There were many testimonies from people who were suffering from a variety of illnesses. They claimed they were cured or went in remission.  It was comforting, to know that others have invested their resources to promote the use of Moringa to fight malnutrition and other illnesses at no cost to the villagers. I just said: awesome.

 

    
Figure 12: Mamadou ready to take his donations to the Centre de Santé, including the two scales in view donated through Able and Willing’s Moring Project
     
Figure 13: The health technicians at the Centre de Santé receive the Moringa donations and express appreciation. 

  

While many people have shown interest in the Moringa Project and Moringa for Health program, my cousin Dr. Moussa Dia joined in and wants to help.  He, his wife Sylvie and friend Annie visited the Farm and the Centre de Santé of both Manabougou and Tienfala.  They met with the health technicians, Moringa friendly children and some parents. Moussa vowed to donate some medical equipment to the clinics once he returned home to France.

    
Figure 14:  Mamadou and his cousin Dr. Moussa Dia, a retired gynecologist and wife, Sylvie, holding camera and friend Annie greeting children who benefited the “Moringa For Health” program  Dr. Dia wants to help the “Centre de Santé de Manabougou” with some medical equipment. 

The awareness about the benefits of Moringa is on the rise in Mali and it consumption in daily diet is more frequent than it was before the campaign of these two past years.  There is demand for the Moringa powder but very few suppliers. The reason being, many people lack the education and training for the proper processing of the leaves.  Therefore, even if some use fresh leaves in their sauces or make their own batch of leaf powder, others would rather go and purchase good quality powder from the very few reputed distributors. Personally, I know of only one. Moringa is becoming very popular among the population.

That is good news and incentive enough for people to exploit Moringa as a cash crop.  That in turn might help to propagate the cultivation and the use of Moringa across the country and the region to decrease malnutrition especially among young children, mothers and the general population.  Due to its amazing nutritional properties, Moringa has lot of virtues; according to the numerous testimonies it can help curb many illnesses by giving the body all it needs to be nutritionally balanced.   

 

     
Figure 15: Fine Moringa powder is stored in labeled containers for the clinic. 

Now, what is needed is to produce more to cover as many children as possible in villages around Manabougou and Tienfala. There is need for a larger space to increase production. There is also a need for more storage and a grinding area. Of course, there is a need for additional manufacturing tools and accessories such as: grinders – tables – shelves - containers - scoopers – crates and gloves. 

 As the Moringa for Health Program is going stronger, the children of Manabougou are saying

THANK YOU!