Vitamin A Supplementation workshop held
PESHAWAR: Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) workshop for District Focal Persons (DFPs) of KP was conducted on at a local hotel by Nutrition International in collaboration with the Provincial Health Department. The objective of the training was to sensitize district focal persons on the importance of Vitamin A in human life; role of DFPs in VAS campaign; and how to improve vitamin A coverage in KP during NIDs.
Shehzad Afzal, National Program Manager for child Survival and Development, Nutrition International referred to the statistics of NNS 2011 which indicates approximately 68% children under 5 in KP are vitamin A deficient whereas 54% children under 5 at national level are vitamin A deficient which is an alarming situation and needs serious attention. DFPS are the backbone of the VAS program in in the province and can play their effective role in improving the situation that would contribute in reducing morbidity and motility fewer than 5 children.
Imtiaz Ali Shah Provincial Coordinator Nutrition International Khyber Pakhtunkhwa thanks to Department of Health for ensure full participation from all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and merged Districts, he briefed objectives & importance of Vitamin A workshop before NID after every six months.
M Yasin, National Program Coordinator, Nutrition International gave presentations on importance of Vitamin A and its effects of its deficiency on human body. Role of enhancing Immunity by Vitamin A in measles outbreak also came under discussion. Trainers stated that antioxidants like Vitamin A are also responsible for regulating gene regulation, maintaining healthy clear skin, facilitating cell differentiation, and supporting immune function. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A include eggs, milk, liver, carrots, yellow or orange vegetables such as squash, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. Mortality among children 6-59 months is reduced by 23% through VAS supplementation, he stated. Vitamin A deficiency results in night blindness. There is well established scientific basis for the treatment of measles with vitamin A.
Dr Taimur Shah, Director, EPI, KP emphasized the role of DFPs Pre, during and Post campaign of NIDs. He also emphasized to prepare proper micro plans including the targets of Vitamin A; proper distribution plan for VACs, based on targets; Quality of trainings needs improvement, proper time should be allocated to Vitamin A during pre NIDs trainings; Social mobilization activities for NIDs should include Vitamin A; Vitamin A should be part of NIDS inauguration ceremony and walks. Vitamin A logistic guidelines along with the tools were also discussed with the DFPs. She also appreciated the efforts of NI. Vitamin A deficiency leads to co-infection like pneumonia, measles, diarrhea and polio.
Dr Saleem Director EPI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa concluded the session & highlighted the Role of Nutrition International for Vitamin A Supplementation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and prevents body against diseases. He stressed that VAS coverage in all districts should be more than 95%.