Today we present to you the ANTENNA France Association which is developing a sustainable and educational approach to combat child malnutrition in deprived areas. Spirulina plays a central role (we talk about it all the more freely as Argalys does not sell it).
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is an algae that can be cultivated in fresh water basins, preferably in warm climates, with reasonable financial investments. Its nutritional properties are very interesting , even if sometimes overestimated by optimistic traders. Spirulina is distinguished above all by a very high content of Iron ** which is very well absorbable by the body, which is a unique quality in the plant kingdom (non-heme iron is normally very poorly absorbed). In equivalent quantities, Spirulina provides approximately 6 times more iron absorbed by the body than beef. It is this high iron content which makes it a valuable ally in combating iron deficiency anemia* and explains why its daily consumption cannot exceed 3 grams. **(The concentration (depending on the places of production and the seasons) varies around 70-100 mg/100g) *(anemia due to lack of iron).
Spirulina also has a high protein content with an almost complete profile of essential amino acids, although this must be put into perspective with the doses ingested which never represent more than 5% of the daily protein requirements. It is rich in vitamins, particularly in provitamin A or beta-carotene (3 grams of Spirulina provides as much as 4 carrots), minerals, trace elements and Omega 6 fatty acids. It also contains phycocyanin, a pigment which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
“Very relevant in a global program against malnutrition”
For all these benefits, combined with its ease of being produced on a small scale, Spirulina is a very relevant nutrient in a global program against malnutrition and anemia due to lack of iron which very often accompanies it. Controlled studies carried out recently in Burkina Faso and Congo clearly demonstrate its effectiveness on the nutritional status of children suffering from acute, moderate or chronic malnutrition.
The mission of Antenna France
Let's give the floor to Julien Bello, general delegate of Antenna France.
What does Antenna France do?
An International Solidarity Association, Antenna France has been engaged for more than 15 years in the fight against malnutrition using spirulina . For this, Antenna France deploys an innovative model of social entrepreneurship ( “Social Business”), creating jobs and local development : it aims to set up managed spirulina production and distribution structures in Africa and Asia. by local , sustainable, autonomous and financially viable partners . These partner farms undertake to redistribute 1/3 of the spirulina produced to associations or nutrition centers which work locally for malnourished children. Several farms are currently supported in Mali, Niger and Madagascar, while others are already autonomous (Togo, Cambodia, Laos, etc.).
How is Spirulina administered to children?
The recommended duration for a “nutritional” spirulina treatment for children suffering from chronic malnutrition is 4 to 6 weeks with an average dose of 2-3g/day (1 teaspoon) which complements their diet. This duration of treatment allows:
- To significantly increase iron reserves and therefore increase hemoglobin.
- To correct a large part of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies , depending on the degree of malnutrition of the children.
- To initiate weight regain (particularly an increase in lean body mass) and to help the child regain dynamism.
Why choose local production?
The in situ cultivation of spirulina makes it more accessible to local populations and appeals more than an export product, which facilitates its acceptance and consumption. Countries are appropriating its culture so that it is gradually integrated into eating habits. In this way, it is not only an essential nutritional supplement for the fight against malnutrition, but it also represents a real local development tool which perpetuates our action.
Antenna France is currently monitoring around ten projects in Africa (Mali, Niger, Togo, CAR) and Madagascar. And we want to consolidate and amplify our action!
“More than 100,000 children who have benefited from spirulina supplementation”
Thanks to the actions of Antenna France, since 2005, more than 100,000 children have benefited from spirulina supplementation. Multiple testimonies from mothers and caregivers show us its impact on the nutritional status and development of these children.
Are you interested in our action? Visit our site: www.antenna-france.org or contact us at email@example.com You can also follow news from our programs in the field online on social media: To follow Antenna France on Twitter is here! To join Linkedin, click here! You can also find them on Facebook or Instagram
Thank you Julien for this presentation, we hope that it will generate new memberships in your association, we will remain in close contact to consider joint actions.
The Argalys team