Vitamin A cushion to kids’ health

Kathmandu, October 18:

The National Vitamin A Programme (NVAP) launched a drive to administer Vitamin A capsules to children from six months to five years of age and deworming capsules to children from one to five years of age throughout the country today.

Some 49,000 trained Female Community Health Volunteers are involved in the two-day campaign. They are assisted by health staff, teachers and local non-governmental organisation members, NVAP stated. This year, the government has provided Rs 200 per day to FCHVs for their support to the campaign. The programme targets to administer 3.7 million children with Vitamin A supplement and 3.1 million children with deworming capsules. It is reaching around 90 per cent of the target, according to data.

Although high prevalence of clinical vitamin A deficiency was a major problem in the country before the programme was initiated in 1993, vitamin A deficiency in pre-school children is no longer a problem of public health significance and an estimated 30 per cent child morality has been averted by the supplement.

The Vitamin A supplement reduces child mortality and morbidity related to vitamin A deficiency. It also treats xerophthalmia, severe malnutrition, prolonged diarrhoea and measles.