Four West African countries record high Vitamin A deficiency

Bamako- Mali (PANA) -- Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger account for 36 percent of the estimated 110,350 annual deaths from Vitamin A deficiencies within the Economic Community of West African States, according to medical statistics released by ECOWAS.
The three Sahelian countries, which face nutritional insecurity also recorded 20 percent of the deaths ascribable to nutritional anaemia, the report added.
To reverse the situation, an NGO, Helen-Keller International (HLI), launched during a workshop last week in Bamako, Phase II of an initiative on micro-nutrients aimed at reducing mortality and morbidity among young children and mothers.
It is said that the encouraging results obtained during the first phase of the project, has prompted donors to support the new phase which will also cover Burkina Faso and Niger, to be extended later to Nigeria.
The workshop, which brought together experts and regional directors of public health and social development in Bamako, sought to consolidate the achievements and develop new strategies.
It also hopes to facilitate the implementation of large-scale regional actions.
The Phase II project is to improve the level of immunisation with Vitamin A for children between six and 59 months of age.
Nutritional education programmes are also planned.
HKI has been active in more than 10 African countries over the past 30 years helping to fought Vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition and diseases such as trachoma and onchocercaisis.

02 august 2001 08:58:00

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