Vitamin A supplement programs improve child survival

Further research needed on more frequent supplementation and alternative dosing approaches, says HSPH’s Fawzi

Vitamin A supplementation is an “important child survival initiative,” HSPH Prof. Wafaie Fawzi and doctoral candidate Andrew Thorne-Lyman wrote in the August 25, 2011 British Medical Journal. Their editorial accompanied a new study which found that vitamin A supplementation could save an estimated 600,000 children in low- and middle-income countries every year. The HSPH researchers agreed with the study’s findings, and also added that while most programs in developing countries supplement children twice a year, evidence suggests that more frequent doses could be even more effective. Alternative delivery mechanisms could save even more children’s lives, although more research is needed, according to Fawzi and Thorne-Lyman.

“Effort should now focus on finding ways to sustain this important child survival initiative and fine tune it to maximize the number of lives saved,” they write.

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