Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The National Director of Micronutrient Initiative Senega l, Mr.
Banda Ndiaye, on Tuesday said the deficiency in vitamin A constituted a p u blic heath issue in Africa, as it was the root cause of infant mortality of over 70:1,000.
"The maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in developing countries constit ute a serious public health problem,â? he declared.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop on the use of vitamin A in sub-Sa haran Africa, Mr.
Ndiaye said the latest UNICEF report on child health showed th a t the mortality rate in this category was 14 times higher in developing countries than in rich ones.
According to him, in Senegal vitamin A capsules are administered during national immunization days initiated since the late 1990s in an effort to eradicate poli o .
Ndiaye said that this had helped reach a coverage rate of over 80% between 1 999 and 2002.
The objective of the workshop is to promote the institutionalization of the distribution of vitamin A every six months in sub-Saharan African countries.