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Coverage of the National Vitamin A Supplementation Program in Ethiopia
Authors: Semba, Richard D.; de Pee, Saskia; Sun, Kai; Bloem, Martin W.; Raju, V. K.
Source: Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, Volume 54, Number 2, 28 April 2008 , pp. 141-144(4), DOI:
Topic(s): Morbidity
Vitamin A
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2008
Abstract: Abstract: 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