Action - Nutrition International - Kenya - Vitamin A supplementation

Programme: Nutrition International - Kenya

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 Nutrition International (NI)’s VAS program in Kenya 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. 
  • Provide support to select counties to improve capacity of country level health teams to implement the biannual child health day (named Malezi Bora) strategy, and optimize the necessary outreach services for high coverage such as VAS delivery at early childhood development centres (ECDs).

These activities are being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health Division of Family Health, the VAS Technical Working Group which includes the MOH and VAS stakeholders including NI and UNICEF. This work is being completed on a national level and on a sub-national level by providing targeted support to 25 counties, selected for their recurrent low VAS coverage. NI support to Kenya'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 - 16:18engesveenkEdited by GINAadminNI.published
Mon, 10/01/2018 - 21:28GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:33GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 15:31GINAadminNIEdited by GINAadminNI.delegated
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 16:36engesveenkEdited by engesveenk.delegated
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 17:41vhollaEdited by vholla.needs_review
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:53vhollaEdited by vholla.draft
Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:50vhollaAction created by vholla.draft