Title

Vitamin A supplementation for refugees and famine victims

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-1-1988

Journal

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Volume

66

Issue

6

Abstract

Reports about recent famine victims and refugees have described the occurrence of xerophthalmia and resultant blindness related to severe vitamin A deficiency. These populations are subject to high prevalences of childhood protein-energy malnutrition and infectious diseases, pre-existing marginal vitamin A status, and inadequate levels of vitamin A in relief rations. In order to prevent unnecessary morbidity and mortality when any of these risk factors arise, famine victims or refugees should receive vitamin A supplements as an early and essential component of the nutritional support provided by relief agencies. Such supplementation should not await the results of nutrition or blindness surveys but rather should be a standard component of the maternal and child health care provided to the affected population until sufficiency of dietary vitamin A has been clearly established.

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