Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Saturday’s vitamin A Plus campaign postponed

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-01-17 21:26:44 BdST

File Photo: Children from six months to five years old were given Vitamin A capsules at various locations around Dhaka on Jul 14, 2018. Photo taken at the Azimpur Maternity Hospital. Photo: Abdullah Al Momin

The authorities have postponed the vitamin A Plus campaign slated for Saturday.

The Institute of Public Health Nutrition announced the postponement citing “unavoidable reasons” on Thursday.

A new date for the campaign will be announced later, the institution said in a media release.

A Directorate General of Health Services official told they postponed the campaign due to “problems in the textures of the capsules”.

“We’ve found in some packs that the capsules got attached to each other. But tests confirmed that there has been no problem with quality,” he said.

The new date will be announced within two weeks after bringing in new capsules, according to him.

The official requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak about the issue to the media.  

Children between six months and 11 months get one blue coloured capsule while those between 12 months to 59 months get one high-powered red coloured dose in vitamin A Plus campaign twice every year in Bangladesh.

Liquid vitamin A is squeezed into child’s mouth by cutting off the tip of the capsule.

Supplementary nutrition in the form of a vitamin A capsule is vital for good infant and child health, growth, and development.

This is also accepted as an essential part of child survival programmes as one capsule of vitamin A given at least twice a year to children 6 to 59 months of age can reduce under-5 child mortality by 24 percent.

Vitamin A strengthens children’s immune system, reduce frequency of diarrhea and measles, and prevent night blindness.

Bangladesh has cut night blindness to 0.04 percent in recent years from 3.76 percent in 1982 through this campaign.