Rapid assessment and delivery of Vitamin A to slum children by using national immunization day in Chandigarh
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This study was done with the objective to see the feasibility of using National Immunization Days (NIDs) for rapid assessment, and delivery of Vitamin A solution to about 27,600 children dwelling in 26 slums in Union Territory of Chandigarh. The assessment of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) was done in a stratified random sample of 1304 children during third round of Intensified Pulse Polio Immunization (IPPI) and delivery of Vitamin A solution was done during fourth round of IPPI in 1999–2000 covering 27642 children in the age group of 1–5 years. An additional team of two persons per centre delivered age specific doses of Vitamin A solution through 72 centres and operational problems were recorded. IPPI staff provided supervision and same tally sheets as of IPPI were used. The prevalence rate of VAD was 24.6%, with conjunctival xerosis, bitot's spot and corneal xerosis as 23.7%, 0.6% and 0.2% respectively. 27275 (98.7%) children out of 27642 were administered Vitamin A solution, with no major operational problem. Only five parents (0.01%) refused Vitamin A solution. No case of side effect or toxicity due to Vitamin-A was reported. The strategy to assess and deliver Vitamin A during NID's was found to be feasible and successful and could be a basis for launching similar initiatives in other areas of India and other countries where VAD is a public health problem.
Key wordsNational Immunization Day Vitamin-A deficiency Prevalence Supplementation
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