Vitamin A drive targets over 8 m TZ children

Research shows administering Vitamin A Supplement to children under the age of five may actually save thousands of lives

Research shows administering Vitamin A Supplement to children under the age of five may actually save hundreds of thousands of lives annually.Photo Credit/Bangledeshnewspaper4all

About 8.3 million Tanzanian children are set to benefit from Vitamin A Supplement programme being conducted by the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Center (TFNC) in a bid to address the longstanding Vitamin A deficiency among children below five years of age,

Concurrently, 7.5 million pre-school children will also be lined-up for de-worming exercise to protect them from intestinal worms that often lead to death.

Francis Modaha, TFNC Representative told this website Wednesday, the exercise which started June 1 will be officially launched June 27 through 29, this year.

“Our target is to reach at least 80 per cent of children between 6 and 59months,” he said.

The official says the demand for vitamin A supplement is high in rural and urban centres considering most households cannot afford diet formulae.

Citing the demographic and health survey of 2010, the health expert said vitamin A deficiency affects pre-school children by 33 percent and 37 per cent of pregnant women in Tanzania.

“About 59 percent of children are equally facing iron deficiency,” he said underscoring the need for people to turn to eating vegetables, fish, fruits and sweet potatoes as a preventive and proactive measure.

Alex Mkamba, Dar es Salaam Regional Vaccination Coordinator revealed 72,331 children under five years will be administered Albendazole pills.

“We’re set to ensure 781,508 kids also undergo de-worming exercise in the Ilalam Kinondoni and Temeke districts,” he said.

Nearly 250 health centres with capacity to offer reproductive health will be involved in the programme across the city, he added.

For rural communities without health centres, the government announced plan to use village executive offices to implement the countrywide initiative.