Assessment of vitamin A supplementation coverage and its association with childhood illness in Boloso Sore Woreda, Welayta Zone, SNNP Region, Ethiopia

  • S Gebremedhin
  • E Loha
  • Y Abebe
  • G Dese

Abstract

Background: Vitamin A plays vital role in the physiology of vision and immunity. Globally quarters of a billion children are Vitamin A deficient. Vitamin A supplementation of children and mothers during postpartum period is a key strategy to avert the deficiency. However the effect of Vitamin A supplementation on incidence of childhood illnesses is controversial. Objective: To assess the effect of Vitamin A supplementation on the reduction of common childhood illnesses, and to measure the coverage of vitamin A supplementation among children aged 6-59 months and mothers during postpartum period. Methods: A retrospective cohort study which involves comparison between Vitamin A supplemented and nonsupplemented children was conducted in Feb 2008 in Boloso Sore Woreda, Wolayta Zone, SNNPR. A total of 1601 children aged 6-59 months were selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling technique. Results: Vitamin A supplementation coverage among children (6-59 months) was 83.1% and among women (in postpartum period) who had given birth in the preceding 12 months of the survey was 13.2%. In comparison with the corresponding level in 2005, the coverage in the area has increased significantly (P<0.05). Most of the vitamin A supplementation coverage was achieved through Enhanced Outreach Strategy. Vitamin A supplementation status was not significantly associated with history of Fever [AOR=1.26 (95%CI 0.89-1.77)], Cough or rapid breathing/difficulty in breathing [AOR=1.15 (95%CI 0.77-1.72)], Eye infection [AOR=1.22 (95%CI 0.78-1.89)], and Diarrhea [AOR=0.98
(95%CI 0.64-1.52)]. Recommendations: The effect of Vitamin A supplementation on reduction of childhood illnesses should be assessed
through longitudinal studies among Vitamin A deficient children.
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