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PIA Press Release

Vitamin A can save kids from blindness

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (4 July) -- Vitamin A saves children from blindness, better yet; it saves young children from early death.

MAHARLIKA Charity foundation consultant and a known ophthalmologist Dr. Ricardo Torno said Vitamin A deficiency is a major contributor to child mortality.

In a radio program "Takna sa Kahimsug" aired over DXRP Radyo ng Bayan, anchored by Nitz Escarpe of DXRP and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Dr. Torno said the association of ophthalmologist in Davao is preparing activities for the forthcoming Sight Awareness Month this coming August.

He said Vitamin A supplementation among deficient children was proven very effective in reducing mortality and severe illness caused by infectious diseases.

Parents should bring their children to health centers nearest their areas for a dose of Vitamin A. The government is promoting Garantisadong Pambata through the Department of Health that delivers various health services to children.

The first five years are the most crucial in a child's development. Parents should know the proper nutrition that should be provided to their kids to prevent infections among children.

Without proper nourishment, proper care, protection and attention, children are prone to malnutrition, blindness due to Vitamin A deficiency, mental retardation, dental cares, parasitism and common illnesses.

According to the DOH reports, deaths of children below five years old are attributed to acute respiratory infections - 33.7 percent; malnutrition - 5.6 percent; diarrhea - 24.8 percent; and measles - 9.6 percent.

DOH said Garantisadong Pambata, a sustained program of the Arroyo administration aims to deliver an integrated package of health services to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality.

Garantisadong Pambata offers information on breastfeeding and nutrition in line with this month's Nutrition celebration; likewise the importance of iodized salt usage; products with Sangkap Pinoy seal; immunization; tetanus and toxoid for women between 15-44 years old; safe toys; proper hygiene; backyard community gardening; and Vitamin A.(PIA XI) [top]

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