Do you have Measles?
If you do, you may have a deficiency in VITAMIN A
What is Vitamin A?
Globally, 3 million children suffer clinical Vitamin A deficiency, exhibiting the signs and symptoms of eye damage and xerophthalmia. However, the full magnitude of Vitamin A deficiency often remains hidden: an estimated 140-250 million children under five years of age are at risk of sub-clinical Vitamin A deficiency, mainly in Asia and Africa. Though showing none of the ocular signs or symptoms these children suffer a dramatically increased risk of death and illness, particularly from measles and diarrhoea, as a consequence of Vitamin A deficiency.
Long known to be a principle cause of childhood blindness (250 000-500 000 children lose their sight each year), Vitamin A deficiency is now recognized as a major contributing factor in an estimated 1-3 million child deaths each year.
simple provision of high-dose vitamin A supplements every 4-6 months not only
protects against blindness but has been repeatedly shown to have a dramatic and
multiple impact on the health of young children (6-59 months):
A and Malaria:
A recent study in Papua New Guinea found that when
young children were given vitamin A supplements three times a year they had 30%
fewer malaria attacks and the number of malaria parasites in their blood dropped
Vitamin A and HIV/AIDS: Trials are currently on-going to determine if vitamin A supplementation can reduce the mother-to-child transmission of HIV during lactation.
Between 100 and 140 million children are vitamin A deficient.
Find out more about Vitamin A
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