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Indicators for assessing vitamin A deficiency and their application in monitoring and evaluating intervention programmes


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Elaborates basic principles for the use of 24 specific biological and ecological indicators in the surveillance of vitamin A deficiency. Addressed to managers of national programmes for the prevention and control of micronutrient malnutrition, the document offers abundant advice on the principles governing the use of biological indicators for surveillance, and explains the scientific rationale for each indicator, including its limitations and cutoff points for interpretation in terms of public health significance. For the first time, a series of ecological indicators that can be used to identify high risk areas is presented together with advice on cutoff points for their interpretation. Also included are indicators for monitoring progress towards achieving the goal of eliminating vitamin A deficiency as a significant public health problem by the year 2000. Annexed to the text are a ranking of countries according to the severity of public health problems caused by vitamin A deficiency, and several sample survey and reporting forms

Vitamin A deficiency : health, survival and vision


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"It now seems clear that improving the vitamin A status of deficient children would not only prevent 5 million to 10 million cases of xerophthalmia and half a million children from going blind each year, but save a million or more lives annually as well. This book therefore reframes the issue of vitamin A deficiency in its broader context of child health and survival. A great deal attention is paid to the systemic complications of vitamin A deficiency and the data from which they are derived. The recent explosion in knowledge about the basic biochemistry of vitamin A and its impact on the immune system has begun to explain the clinical and public health observations. Drs. James Olson and Catharine Ross have graciously assumed responsibility for these two chapters. This book is useful to pediatricians, nutritionists, ophthalmologists, scientists and public health practitioners and officials engaged in designing and implementing programs aimed at curbing vitamin A deficiency and its consequences and reducing the terrible and needless loss of sight and life"