oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Vitamin A supplementation in South Africa : time for reappraisal : editorial

Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1607-0658
  • E-ISSN: 2221-1268



High-dose vitamin A supplementation (VAS) is one of the strategies to combat vitamin A deficiency and in the past was usually considered to be a short-term deficiency control measure. However, it is currently argued that vitamin A supplementation is a sustainable public health intervention for child survival, and should not be seen as a short-term measure. VAS has been extensively documented to decrease overall child mortality by about 30%, while the mortality reduction in hospitalised children with measles was reported to be in the region of 60% on average. The effect of VAS has primarily been associated with a reduction of , though the effect on the latter has not been consistently documented in all studies. The effect of VAS may also be linked to the aetiology of the diarrhoea. There may therefore be disease- and cause-specific effects of VAS applicable to both preventive and treatment regimens.

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