VITAMIN A BENEFIT
ANCHOR LEAD: A SINGLE DOSE OF VITAMIN A CAN REDUCE EARLY INFANT DEATHS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
For a very modest cost and easy administration, a significant number of infant deaths can be avoided worldwide. That’s according to research by Rolf Klemm and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on vitamin A. Klemm describes the findings.
KLEMM: We just completed the largest trial in southeast Asia looking at newborn vitamin A supplementation. It’s the third now of trials conducted in the south Asia region that shows that by giving a single dose of vitamin A, of 50,000 international units, that you could actually prevent a high proportion of infant deaths. The proportion of deaths were reduced by 15%. :26
Klemm says previous studies done elsewhere in the world also established the effectiveness of vitamin A supplementation. The treatment seems to benefit infants born to nutritionally deficient women, who may reside anywhere in the world. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.