Addressing gaps in vitamin A sufficiency around the world and redirecting attention to regions struggling to make progress is critical to eliminating ongoing vitamin deficiency, two Boston University School of Public Health researchers write in The Lancet Global Health.
In a commentary accompanying a new study on vitamin A deficiency, Dr. David Hamer and Dr. Gerald Keusch, professors of global health and medicine at BU, write that a recognition of the association between vitamin A deficiency and health problems, including reduced resistance to infections, especially diarrhea and measles, and increased mortality in children younger than 5 years has “driven the scale-up of vitamin A supplementation programs as preventative public health measures around the world.”
But they note that these programs have not been as efficient in east or southern Africa or south Asia as in other regions.
“Lagging coverage and continued evidence of vitamin A deficiency is the basis for the suggestion by (researcher Dr. Gretchen Stevens) and colleagues that future efforts refocus on these regions,” they write. “This suggestion makes sense if we are confident that progress elsewhere would not be compromised as a result.”
To read more about the study, go to: http://www.bu.edu/sph/2015/09/10/vitamin-a-deficiency-slow-progress-towards-elimination/