Hanoi will provide children aged 6 to under 36 months with high-dose vitamin A supplements on December 1 and 2, expecting the universal distribution to reach 99.8% of children in the city.
According to local health officials, Vitamin A is one of the essential micronutrients which benefits children's health such as growth, eyes, immunity, and antioxidant properties, among others.
Leaders of the Hanoi Department of Health inspect the implementation of vitamin A supplementation for children at the Medical Station of Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District. Photo: Ta Nguyen
In addition to vitamin D, vitamin A is also involved in bone development in children. Children grow slowly and are stunted and malnourished if they are vitamin A deficient. Vitamin A influences children's immune health by stimulating responses that protect their bodies from disease and infection.
Statistics show that up to 14% of Vietnamese children are deficient in vitamins for various reasons. The lack of this nutrient causes an increase in the levels of inflammatory molecules that reduce the response and function of the immune system.
To prevent vitamin A deficiency in children currently, Hanoi organizes two regular vitamin A intake sessions on June 1-2 and Dec 1-2 for children aged 6-36 months.
The Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Health Centers of the districts have actively sent invitations to 6-36 month children’s parents, held training courses for health workers participating in the campaign.
The Hanoi Health Department has asked district health centers to prepare well the tools and supplies for children to receive vitamin A. Health workers should examine children before giving them vitamin A supplements, and keep them under observation for at least 30 minutes after taking vitamin A to ensure their safety.
To prevent micronutrient deficiencies, nutritionists recommend that parents use a variety and combination of foods in their children's daily meals. Parents are advised to have their children receive high doses of vitamin A twice a year.