Journal Article

Coverage of the National Vitamin A Supplementation Program in Ethiopia

Richard D. Semba, Saskia de Pee, Kai Sun, Martin W. Bloem and V. K. Raju

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 54, issue 2, pages 141-144
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
Coverage of the National Vitamin A Supplementation Program in Ethiopia

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Periodic vitamin A supplementation is a major intervention to reduce morbidity, mortality, and blindness among children in developing countries. The goal was to characterize the coverage of the Ethiopia national vitamin A program among preschool children and to identify risk factors for not receiving vitamin A. In the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey of 2005, among 4762 preschool children, aged 12–59 months, 46.8% received a vitamin A capsule within the last 6 months. There were no significant differences in stunting, underweight, or wasting between children who did or did not receive a vitamin A capsule. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, maternal education of ≥10 years [odds ratio (OR) 1.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23–2.92], 7–9 years (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.67–3.65), 4–6 years (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.18–2.07), and 1–3 years (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.90–1.37), and paternal education of ≥10 years (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.14–2.29), 7–9 years (OR 1.24, 95% CI 0.94–1.64), 4–6 years (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.03–1.56), and 1–3 years (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05–1.50) were associated with the child receiving a vitamin A capsule compared with no years of formal parental education. Expanded coverage of the national vitamin A capsule program may help protect children from nutritional blindness and to help reach Millennium goals for reducing under-five child mortality in Ethiopia.

Keywords: blindness; morbidity; mortality; vitamin A

Journal Article.  1981 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics

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