Improving and sustaining the coverage of Vitamin A supplementation among children between the age of 9 months to 5 years in the Gwalior division of Madhya Pradesh
Micronutrient deficiency is a serious public health problem and has been shown to increase the risk of morbidity and mortality, impair cognitive development and growth, and lower work productivity. Of all the micronutrient deficiencies, vitamin A deficiency has been recognized for many years as a significant public health problem. Where under five mortality is above 50 per 1000, a vitamin A deficiency problem can be assumed and a vitamin A supplementation (VAS) program should be implemented. The survival chances of children aged 6-59 months are dramatically increased by providing VAS, as their risk of mortality from measles is reduced by about 50%; from diarrhoea, by about 40%; and from the overall mortality by 23%. Along with Vitamin A; some other micronutrient like Zinc, Iron and Albendazole play an important role to save the children’s lives.
The Government of India has recommended administration of Vitamin A every six months through a package of child health and nutrition interventions to reduce the under-five mortality. The truth is bitterer for Madhya Pradesh; It’s estimated that two thirds of children in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished. As per the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau Report, there is a significant reduction from 1.2% in 2008 to 0.2% in 2013 in the prevalence of Bitots spot, one of the indicators of Vitamin A deficiency, among 1-5 year old children in Madhya Pradesh. In fact, malnutrition rates for children under five are higher here than in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Inextricably linked with high rates of child malnutrition is the large number of new mothers and infants who die shortly after birth.
In MP, Vitamin A is being provided to 9-59 month old children biannually through biannual child health months (Bal Suraksha Maah) (BSM) using the existing ‘fixed day/fixed site’ outreach service known as Village Health and Nutrition Days (VHND). The BSM rolls out a comprehensive package of services consisting of Vitamin A supplementation (VAS), deworming, growth monitoring and subsequent identification of severely malnourished children, IFA syrup distribution and immunization of left out children.
In order to address the malnourishment under 5 children; Centre for Integrated Development is sharing hand with Micronutrient Initiative India in Madhya Pradesh to promote essential micronutrient like Vitamin A and other micronutrients like Iron , zinc and Albendazole etcs. This initiate have been launched in 6 targeted districts of Gwalior division-Gwalior, Morena, Datia, Bhind, Sheopur and Ashok Nagar from May 2015.
Name of the Overall Programme
“Improving and sustaining the coverage of Vitamin A supplementation among children between the age of 9 month to 5 years in Madhya Pradesh”
Mortality among children 9-59 months old is to be reduced in MI supported districts.