Action - Nutrition International - Senegal - Vitamin A supplementation

Programme: Nutrition International - Senegal

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 Senegal are to:

  • Support the government with provision of the national supply of Vitamin A Capsules (VAC) 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 Ministry of Health to strengthen the delivery of VAS through routine services in 31 focus districts. NI is leveraging the community-based health platform established by INGOs and strengthening the supportive supervision and quarterly regional reviews to make corrective actions at the district levels.

These activities are being implemented in partnership with the Directorate of Reproductive Health and Child Survival/Ministry of Health, the National VAS Technical Working Group, and UNICEF. This work is being completed sub-nationally by continued support to 31 districts across five regions (Kaffrine, Kolda, Thiès, Saint Louis and Dakar). NI support to Senegal’s VAS program began in 1999 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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Mar, 10/02/2018 - 16:18engesveenkEdited by GINAadminNI.published
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