Action - Nutrition International - Nigeria - Vitamin A supplementation

Programme: Nutrition International - Nigeria

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 Nigeria are to:

  • Support the government with the provision of donated Vitamin A Capsule (VAC) supplies through the In-Kind Assistance (IKA) 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 development of a VAS-specific social and behavior change communication strategy and materials for both caregivers and the community as a whole, as well as job aids for frontline workers.
  • Provide technical assistance and financial support to low performing states to plan for and carry out the biannual Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) at the state level in accordance with national guidelines.

NI's work is in partnership with the Government of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Helen Keller International (HKI). Sub-nationally, while NI has supported up to 14 States at different times, NI currently supports 9 states including Bauchi, Gombe, Sokoto, Kano, Niger, Plateau and Kaduna in the north region and Cross-river, and Delta in the south. NI support to Nigeria's VAS program began in 2000 and is ongoing.

Programme type



[1] WHO. (2013). Micronutrient deficiencies. Retrieved from

[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

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 16:18engesveenkEdited by GINAadminNI.published
Mon, 10/01/2018 - 21:25GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:35GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 16:36engesveenkEdited by engesveenk.delegated
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 17:46vhollaEdited by vholla.needs_review
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 17:44vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:46vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:46vhollaAction created by vholla.draft