Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among pre-school and school aged children in Arssi zone, Ethiopia

  • Y. T. Asrat
  • A. M. Omwenga
  • J. W.G Muita

Abstract

Objective: To investigate vitamin A status of pre-school and school aged children in the study area.
Design: Cross-sectional
Setting: Arssi, Ethiopia
Subjects: Four hundred and two children
Results: Night blindness, Bitots spot, corneal xerosis, corneal ulceration and corneal scar were observed in 7.2%, 2.2 %, 0.2%, 0.5%, and 0.5% of the children respectively. The prevalence of xerophthalmia was higher in school aged children than pre-school children (P< 0.0001). Based on the WHO recommended cut-off level, serum retinol levels were in the “low” range (<20µ1/d1) in 51% of the children.
Conclusion: The results indicate that vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a public health problem in Arssi, with higher prevalence among school aged children than pre-school children.

(East African Medical Journal: 2002 79(7): 355-359)
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Articles

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eISSN: 0012-835X