Nation/World

More Countries Giving Children Doses Of Illness-Fighting Vitamin A

More developing countries are giving children vitamin A, a move that could prevent between 1 million and 3 million child deaths a year, a UNICEF report says.

Since 1990, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have eliminated severe vitamin A deficiency, according to UNICEF’s annual report on the state of the world’s children.

Brazil, India, Botswana and other countries are moving to give 80 percent of children younger than 2 adequate vitamin A levels by the end of the year.

Worldwide, about 200 million children under age 5 are vitamin A-deficient - a condition signaled by a milky patch in the eye. Severe deficiency causes blindness and death. Moderate deficiency impairs the immune system, making common illnesses such as diarrhea and measles more fatal.

In Indonesia, Dr. Albert Sommer, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, found that giving children massive doses of vitamin A twice a year reduced their mortality rate by one-third.



Click here to comment on this story »







Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile