IF poverty is a title to overcome humanity, nobody can dispute that the people of the rural communities
of Sudan are acquiring high percentages of it among other Africans. “So many people in the rural
areas of Sudan are so desperately poor that a small shock creates a humanitarian disaster”. There is
no internal strife in the rural areas and the political climate is agitated, yet poverty has severely
affected millions of people and with desertification biting further into this vast arid areas.
Malnutrition among children is widespread. The rural areas of Sudan could be on the breadline today
with 80 per cent of the population surviving on less than one dollar a day, but the scourge of poverty,
in varying degrees, cuts across most of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty in this case is multi-dimensional. It sucks in lack of income, deprivation in health, education,
water and sanitation, vulnerability of families in regard to access to physical assets, the state of human
capital, levels of income diversification, participation in the formal safety net and access to credit
However, in whatever form poverty manifests itself, the trail of devastation has followed a similar
pattern in most Sub-Saharan African countries – hunger resulting in death, displacement of people
and economic stagnation.
The complicated confusion has had a troublesome tail-end of at least two most vulnerable groups -
women and children - with the latter being severely hit by malnutrition.
Every year, children suffer and die from malnutrition across the African continent with relief operations
intensifying. Volunteer aid workers have geared up themselves and are now full throttle promoting the
provision of supplementary foodstuffs, micro-nutrients and nutritional information. All this in a
desperate effort to combat and wipe out malnutrition on a continent where drought, coupled with
conflicts in most areas of the country, has engendered economic woes, famine, death and
displacement of people. In Sudan, like any other Sub-Saharan African country, the broadcasting of
nutritional information has taken centre stage as many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have
sprang up to sensitize the population on the need for good nutrition in both adults and children. This
should come in the form of women nutrition groups, peer educators and most importantly home-based
care groups whose focus on good nutrition for HIV/AIDS patients has gained a lot of prominence.
Apart from the insistence on a balanced diet, where food is abundant, drug stores across African
countries have mushroomed and are well-stocked with fortified micro-nutrients supplements,
answering the need for good nutrition especially among the middle and upper classes.
But the lower class, which includes villagers in rural areas, struggles to make ends meet and it is this
group that swells the statistics of poverty and its off-shoots.
However, there is good news for the poor people of Africa and other tropical and sub-tropical regions
of the world!
A US-based non-governmental organization called Trees for Life is spearheading scientific research
that could bring relief and benefit to billions of people throughout the world through herbal remedy of
providing good nutrition needed to prevent malnutrition and cure diseases.
The Moringa Oleifera plant is being pushed by Trees for Life as the most inexpensive and credible
alternative to not only providing good nutrition, but also the cure and prevention of a lot of diseases.
“The leaves of this tree are worthy of special attention. Folk medicine in several countries has used
these leaves to cure a host of diseases. Clinical studies are suggesting that folk medicine has been on
the right track.
“Nutritional analyses show that the leaves are very high in protein and contain all the essential amino
acids, including two that are especially important for children’s diets. This is most uncommon in a plant
food. Moringa leaves are well rewarded with essential vitamins and minerals. The whole plant is like a
big apple of micro-nutrients standing and beckoning at humanity. Popularized growing and use of
Moringa leaves and other parts of the plant can no doubt help prevent the scourge of malnutrition and
diseases in Africa and the rest of the world.
Moringa is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that grows even in marginal soils, with very little care.
It can surely be grown in impoverished Niger and most parts of Africa and help save a lot of lives.
Indeed, it is a potential life-saver, only it should be promoted in parts of the world where people need it
most – Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Moringa Oleifera is the best known of the 13 species of the genus Moringaceae. It was highly valued
in the ancient world.
The Romans, Greeks and Egyptians extracted edible oil from the seeds and used it for perfume and
skin lotion. In the 19th century, plantations of Moringa in the West Indies exported the oil to Europe for
perfumes and lubricants for machinery.
People in the Indian sub-continent have long used Moringa pods for food. The edible leaves are eaten
in parts of West Africa and Asia.
Scientific research has proved that Moringa leaves are a powerhouse of nutritional value. But
unfortunately, this information has not reached the people who need it most – like the people of
Eastern Sudan. All parts of Moringa are useful and have beneficial properties that can serve and help
For instance the leaves and pods not only provide for nutrition, but medicine for diseases like skin
infections, anemia, asthma, respiratory disorders, diabetes, bronchitis, diarrhea, eye and ear
infections, headaches, blood pressure, scurvy, tuberculosis, ulcers, dysentery, gonorrhea, jaundice,
urinary disorders, colitis, malaria and many others.
Moringa flowers, seeds, bark, gum and roots are also medicine of the same diseases. The seeds are
further used for water purification and oil extraction for cosmetics, lubricants and edible oil.
“Moringa shows great promise as a tool to help overcome some of the most severe problems in the
Eastern Province, malnutrition, deforestation, impure water and poverty. The tree does best in the dry
regions where these problems are worst.
A comparative study of Moringa fresh leaves gram for gram with other foodstuffs puts Moringa on top.
It contains (seven times the vitamin C of oranges); (four times the vitamin A of carrots), (four times the
calcium of milk), (three times the potassium of banana) and (two times the protein of yogurt).
But the micro-nutrient content is even more in dried leaves; (ten times the vitamin A of carrots), (17
times the calcium of milk), (15 times the potassium of bananas), (25 times the iron of spinach) and
(nine times the protein of yogurt). (Vitamin C drops to half that of oranges).
Other micro-nutrients found in the Moringa leaves are thiamin, riboflavin, nicotine acid, chromium,
copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
“Moringa is a very simple and readily available solution to the problem of malnutrition,” says
researcher Lowell Fuglie in a dossier, Natural Nutrition for the Tropics.
A case study was conducted between 1997 and 1998 in south-western Senegal by the Alternative
Action for African Development (AGADA) and Church World Service (CWS) on the ability of Moringa
leaf powder to prevent and cure malnutrition in pregnant women and/or breastfeeding mothers and
The results were stunningly overwhelming!
• Children increased their weight and improved overall health
• Pregnant women recovered from anemia and had babies with higher birth weights
• Breastfeeding women increased their production of milk
In Zambia, an independent study among rural women and children has been carried out at Mpulabushi
Farm, 65 kilometres southeast of Ndola. The malnourished children around the area have shown
brightness, good health and increased weight after month-long dosages of Moringa leaf powder in
porridge. Women have had high production of milk and shown vigorous activity in home chores and
physical work at the farm. Mpulabushi Farm has also carried out tests on river water purification using
the Moringa seeds. Preliminary results have so far been successful. The farm has a 150-tree
plantation of Moringa.
Management of the farm have offered themselves to work with willing nutritional groups and herbal
medicine consultants in the promotion of Moringa products to help prevent malnutrition and cure a
host of diseases that afflict mankind.
While the Zambian researchers might be in a slumber to discover the various benefits of the Moringa
plant, Uganda and Tanzania have already made a breakthrough.
In downtown Kampala, Uganda, the first modern herbal pharmacy called The Moringa Health Care
and Lisa Medical Centre in which various Moringa and other herbal products are sold.
These include nutritional supplements, medicines, cosmetics and soap. Similar initiatives can be
undertaken in other parts of Africa to mitigate the scourge of malnutrition and disease.
Moringa trees are easy to grow. They grow easily from seeds and cuttings and grow quickly even in
poor drought-prone soils. They bloom eight months after planting.
While the impoverished regions of Africa wait for bounties of food relief from the rich west, it would be
prudent for each country to promote the planting and use of Moringa.
Perhaps the Moringa leaves will perform a miracle to save millions of lives!
Moringa leaves contain high amounts of several essential disease-preventing nutrients, including:
1. Vitamin A, which acts as a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea,
and many other diseases.
2. Vitamin C, fighting a host of illnesses including colds and flu.
3. Calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis.
4. Potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves.
5. Proteins, the basic building blocks of all our body cells
Vitamin A (carotene): Moringa: 6780 mcg - Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C: Moringa: 220 mg - Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium: Moringa: 440 mg - Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium: Moringa: 259 mg - Bananas: 88 mg
Protein: Moringa: 6.7 g - Cow's milk: 3.2 g
Nutritional Value of Moringa Pods
(All values below are per 100 grams of edible portion)
Calcium 30 mg Calories 26
Carbohydrates 3.7 g Carotene 110 mcg
Chlorine 423 mg Chromium 0.003 mg
Copper 0.01 mg Fat 0.1 g
Fiber 4.8 g Iron 0.18 mg
Magnesium 28 mg Manganese 0.05 mg
Minerals 2.0 g Moisture 86.9 g (86.9%)
Niacin 0.2 mg Phosphorus 110 mg
Potassium 259 mg Protein 2.5 g
Riboflavin 0.07 mg Sodium 0 mg
Thiamine 0.05 mg Vitamin C 120 mg
Zinc 0.16 mg
For further details contact:
Siddiq Ahmed Omer: 0912630051 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric Lemetais: