Journal Article

National Vitamin A Supplementation Coverage Survey among 6–59 Months Old Children in Guinea (West Africa)

Mohamed Ag Bendech, Gil Cusack, Fodé Konaté, Aïssatou Touré, Midiaou Ba and Shawn K Baker

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 53, issue 3, pages 190-196
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmm007
National Vitamin A Supplementation Coverage Survey among 6–59 Months Old Children in Guinea (West Africa)

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Background: Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major contributor to child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Sustained control of VAD is essential to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for reduction of child mortality in Guinea. Since, twice yearly vitamin A supplementation (VAS), either coupled with National Immunization Days or stand-alone has been adopted as a key strategy to combat VAD in 6–59 months old children.

Objectives. The objectives of this survey were to describe national VAS coverage rates and related factors affecting VAS coverage among 6–59 months old Guinean children.

Methods: In July 2003, a VAS coverage survey was implemented in Guinea. A cross-sectional random cluster survey was conducted to select Guinean children (n = 1950, 390 mother–child pairs per zone) aged 6–59 months. The country was divided into four agro-ecological zones with 30 clusters chosen per zone. Within each cluster, a random selection of 13 households with at least one child was carried out with random selection of one child per household. Data on characteristics of children, receipt of VAS, caregivers’ socio-economic characteristics, vitamin A knowledge and practices of caregivers were collected by questionnaire.

Results: The national coverage rate of 68% is much lower than the official coverage rate of 93%. Middle Guinea, the region most affected by VAD, had the lowest coverage rate (58%).

Conclusion: In order to increase overall VAS coverage and reduce regional disparities, it is suggested that mass VAS be organized on a regional level, prioritizing rural regions (Middle and Upper Guinea) and the city of Conakry.

Keywords: vitamin A deficiency; vitamin A supplementation; coverage; child mortality; Guinea

Journal Article.  3444 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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