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KONZO

It makes famine preferable to feast!

In Mozambique, extreme starvation drove thousands to eat unprocessed cassava root (also known as Yucca in Latin America) as a survival crop.  Unable through drought to find water to wash out the toxin meant the difference between life and living hell.

Over three hundred millions in the tropics subsist on a diet that includes this carbohydrate-rich foodstuff with a potentially toxic poison.  Yet many have learned to cure and prepare it to remove deadly cyanide. Those ignorant of the practice that extracts the toxin suffer from a number of disabling diseases, including paralysis, impaired vision, goiter, and cretinism.  

Konzo (Mantakassa) is the name used in Mozambique for the disease from untreated cassava root that bequeaths its victims these debilitating afflictions.

This is so in Mozambique, and other parts of Africa, where The Grim Reaper at the Feast has seen that vast numbers-especially women and children- leave the table to face an evil worse than death. 

Cassava is one of several critically important food staples, including maize, millet, sorghum, and sweet potato, that liberate hydrogen cyanide from chemicals called cyanogenetic glucosides naturally present within the plant.  

THE TURNING POINT

The Third World Medical Research Foundation  is geared up to sponsor a team of physicians and scientists to examine the whole problem urgently.  These specialists will study the susceptibility of women and children to this hideous form of paralysis; and produce guidelines for the preparation and consumption of cassava that's safe and wholesome.

THE COST?

Success depends on funding for TWMRF's field and laboratory program:                                              

Cost should be $300,000.00 for three (3) years.

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Last modified: November 01, 2004

 

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