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2008-09-01: Vitamin A Campaign: 08 – 20 September 2008

THE National Vitamin A Campaign is taking place from 08th-20th September 2008 in South Africa.

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Health Department would like to encourage the parents to ensure that all children get a vitamin A capsule at six months and then every six months until the age of 5 year (59 months).

The National Department of Health's statistics are showing that only about 25% at national level of children aged one year to five years are receiving their vitamin A dose routinely in clinics since inception of the vitamin A supplementation programme.

The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness about the importance of vitamin A and also to give a dose to all children between the age of 12 to 59 months. Parents and guardians are encouraged to take their children to the nearest clinic for their vitamin A dose every six months until the age of 5 years.

Vitamin A is an essential substance for the body and is important for growth, health and good eyesight. It also protects the body against infection and illness. The body cannot produce vitamin A and has to get it from food or Vitamin A capsules (supplements).

Scientific evidence has shown that supplementing children aged 6-59 months with Vitamin A dramatically increases their survival by:

Reducing deaths with 23%
Reducing deaths caused by measles with 50%
Reducing deaths from diarrhoea with 33%
Signs of vitamin A deficiency:

If a person has difficulty seeing in dim light
Children with vitamin A deficiency get measles and diarrhoea more seriously and are more likely to die from illness. Vitamin A deficiency is most important cause of child blindness.
Foamy white patches on the white part of the eye (bitôt spot)
Vitamin A capsules are going to be cut and the drops squeezed into the child's mouth by the health workers during campaign. Bring the child's road to health card to a vitamin A campaign post nearest to you. If you do not have the child's card still bring your child for their vitamin A dose.


For more information contact:
Nkosinathi Nkabinde
Communications Officer
City of Johannesburg Health Department
Telephone: 011 407 6477
Cell: 083 408 7787
E-mail: e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it