Impact of deworming on vitamin a status of Zanzibari school children

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



FASEB Journal






As part of an evaluation of the school-based deworming program in Zanzibar, we assessed baseline vitamin A status and response to twice yearly deworming with mebendazole among a sample of children attending first grade. A total of 289 children were assessed at baseline and 12 months. Both serum retinol (SR) and the modified relative doseresponse (MRDR) test were used. Mean SR at baseline were similar in both groups (dewormed and control) (34.5 ug/dl) as was the MRDR (0.021). Vitamin A status was not associated with baseline helminth or malaria infection. Both the treated and control groups' vitamin A status declined over the 12 month follow-up. Percent of SR <25 ug/dl increased from 19.5% to 23.1% in control group and from 10.4% to 24.8% in the treatment group. Those with higher intensity of hookworm at baseline had larger declines in SR among controls. This effect was modified by deworming treatment such that baseline hookworm intensity was not associated with a decline in SR in the deworming group Vitamin A status of Zanzibari school children is good, but hookworm infection control may improve this further.

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