Vitamin A Supplementation and Deworming
Vitamin Angels pairs vitamin A supplementation and deworming treatments to improve child nutrition and build the foundation for healthy lives.
As children grow and rapidly develop, meeting their nutritional needs is essential.
For nearly 30 years, Vitamin Angels has worked to reach children with this simple, inexpensive, and life-changing nutrition intervention. Today, Vitamin Angels reaches millions of children annually with vitamin A and deworming, working directly with local partner organizations and governments to increase access in underserved communities around the world.
The Benefits of Vitamin A Supplementation
Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of preventable childhood blindness, and a major contributor of illness and death. Providing two doses of vitamin A supplements a year is a proven way to prevent childhood blindness and increase survival rates up to 24%.
Vitamin A is critical to healthy growth and development and supports a strong immune system and vision. The main source of vitamin A is through food — leafy greens, eggs, fish, and fortified staples like milk, cereal, and bread. But children experiencing food insecurity or malnutrition in low income or middle income countries may struggle to get sufficient nutrients from their diet. When those nutritional needs cannot be met through food alone, supplementation with vitamin A is an effective and proven way to fill a nutritional gap.
The presence of vitamin A deficiency among children in high income countries is (nearly) non-existent because many staple foods like cereal and milk are fortified with vitamin A.
The Benefits of Deworming
Many low- and middle-income countries with high rates of vitamin A deficiency are also endemic with intestinal worms, which compete for the micronutrients children consume and contribute to undernutrition.
Albendazole, a deworming or antiparasitic treatment, is a proven, high-impact intervention. Deworming boosts immune systems and helps ensure children absorb the vital nutrients they receive. Because vitamin A and Albendazole follow similar distribution schedules, delivering the nutrition interventions together is a simple, effective way to improve children’s overall health.
Vitamin A and Deworming Positively Impact Underserved Communities
An estimated 250,000–500,000 children suffering from vitamin A deficiency become blind each year, and half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight. The World Health Organization recommends all children ages 6–59 months living in areas with moderate to severe vitamin A deficiency receive supplementation. Providing children with vitamin A supplements and antiparasitics decreases the incidence and severity of many childhood infections such as diarrhea and measles, and increases overall survival rates.
Learn more about the barriers to access faced by underserved communities.
Vitamin Angels Seeks to Improve Access to Vitamin A and Deworming
Since its founding in 1994, Vitamin Angels has become one of the largest global providers of vitamin A and deworming to underserved communities worldwide. We provide annual in-kind donations of vitamin A supplements and Albendazole to our program partners along with technical assistance, support and training to ensure these vital nutrition interventions are administered according to best practices.