Action - Nutrition International - Pakistan - Vitamin A supplementation

Programme: Nutrition International - Pakistan

Programme description

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a public health problem all around the world, affecting more than 100 countries [1]. A lack of vitamin A weakens the immune system, putting a child at greater risk of disease and early death; and it is also the leading cause of preventable child blindness. The solution for correcting vitamin A deficiency lies in improving the child’s diet – through increased consumption of vitamin A-rich foods, naturally rich or commercially fortified foods such as processed oils or sugar.

In countries where this remains a public health problem, and while food-based solutions are gradually being implemented and scaled-up to reach those populations, giving children 6 to 59 months of age two doses of vitamin A per year can impact a child’s health. Specifically, the range of impact on deaths averted can range from a lower bound cause-specific effect size of 28% (diarrheal deaths averted) to an upper bound of 12%-24% all-cause mortality reduction [2].

Nutrition International is committed to supporting vitamin A supplement (VAS) programs for children 6 to 59 months of age in settings where VAD is a public health problem, as one of the most cost-effective ways to improve child survival.

The main aims of NI’s VAS program in Pakistan are to:

  • Support the government with provision of donated Vitamin A Capsule (VAC) supplies through the In-Kind Assistance program. 
  • Provide technical assistance on a national level for the revision of key policy, guidelines and strategy documents through participation in the VAS Technical Working Group.
  • Support the Government of Pakistan to scale up the ‘intensified monitoring’ strategy nationwide and train provincial and district focal persons in the NI supported provinces.
  • Assist the Government of Pakistan with the planning and monitoring of VAS delivery through polio National Immunization Days and include VAS into the post-polio campaign coverage monitoring.

These activities are being implemented in partnership with the Federal Government of Pakistan and the National VAS Technical Working group that includes the MOH and VAS stakeholders, including NI and UNICEF. This work is being conducted on a national level through technical and operational assistance to the Ministry of Health and on a sub-national level in four provinces; Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa NI support to Pakistan’s VAS program began in 1999 and is ongoing.

Programme type

National

References

[1] WHO. (2013). Micronutrient deficiencies. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/vad/en/

[2] Imdad A, Herzer, K, Mayo-Wilson E, Yakoob MY, Bhuta ZA. Vitamin A supplementation for preventing morbidity and mortality in children from 6 months to 5 years of age. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 12.

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Revision log

DateUserLogState
Tue, 10/02/2018 - 16:19engesveenkEdited by GINAadminNI.published
Mon, 10/01/2018 - 21:39GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:06GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:04GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 16:37engesveenkEdited by engesveenk.delegated
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 21:30vhollaEdited by vholla.needs_review
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 21:28vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 15:42vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 15:36vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 15:30vhollaAction created by vholla.draft