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PIA Press Release
2006/10/02

Kalinga tops in Vit A supplementation in CAR

by Larry Lopez

TABUK, Kalinga (2 October) -- Kalinga leads other provinces in the Cordillera region in Vitamin A supplementation after the first round of distribution last April this year.

Provincial Nutritionist Frances Sebastian, during the Nutrition for Children Planning Workshop, said Kalinga achieved 90% supplementation with the 6-11 months target group, and 85 % on both 12-59 months and 60-71 months target groups.

Vit. A supplementation is among the regular programs of the Department of Health to address high morbidity rate among young children in the country.

It is administered by local health offices to young children twice a year or every after 6 months. The first round takes place in April and the second round is October.

Ellen Villate, Country Director of Hellen Keller International, who lectured on Vit. A functions reported that 287 children below five years old die everyday in the country from diseases that are otherwise preventable. These diseases include acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, dengue, malaria, meningitis, measles and tetanus.

In her presentation, Villate cited studies showing that Vit. A reduces substantially by 30% deaths from malaria, 40% from diarrhea and 50% from measles. Another side effect from Vit. A deficiency, is known as xeropthalmia or night blindness which she said is again very prevalent among young children.

She stressed Vit. A can effectively help fight these diseases among young children as it increases body resistance.

Citing major causes of this micro-nutrient deficiency, Villate said malnutrition which is the underlying factor, has been accounted to have caused at least 60% of child deaths in the country.

This explains why government is aggressive in administering supplementation activities to target groups, to include pregnant and newly delivered mothers, Villate stressed. (PIA-Tabuk) [top]

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