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(Vit A 2 )

What can we do to stop Vitamin A Deficiency?


In very young children Vitamin A encouraging mothers to breast-feed their babies best prevents deficiency. Even as they begin to switch to soft food it is wise to introduce them to fruits and porridge. Whenever possible the child should be fed soft fruits, for they contain Vitamin A.

Older children and adults should include foods in their diets that contain Vitamin A. these include:

·        green leaves

·        red palm oil

·        mangoes,

·        pawpaws

·        yellow sweet potato

·        egg yolks

·        liver


To help provide these essential foodstuffs why not encourage young people to help develop a small family garden. This could be encouraged at community level as well. During the drier seasons it is essential that plants are watered and this is the perfect job for younger members of the family/community. If water is in short supply then use some that has already been used, say for washing or preparing food. Gardening can be fun and it helps everyone to avoid the problems associated with Vitamin A Deficiency.


What to do if you have no food with Vitamin A in it


If your food does not provide you with very much Vitamin A then you can use medicines that do. In areas where Vitamin A deficiency is quite common the health authorities sometimes provide these medicines free of charge. The medicine is normally an oily liquid that in given my spoon, or in some cases by tablet. Each dose is given at about 4 to 6 monthly intervals. If children and young people take this average dosage then they should remain free of the pro0blems that are associated with Vitamin A deficiency.


What can we do to help people with Night Blindness


Any child who has the symptoms of night blindness must be taken to see a health worker as soon as possible. They should also be given as many foods with Vitamin A in them as possible.

Children should be encouraged not to be frightened by night blindness. It is not the result of bad behaviour by anyone in his or her family. Those children with good sight can help they’re less fortunate peers by carrying out surveys of who is suffering and where they live. This information will be very useful to health workers. The surveys need not be huge in size, for on average if one child in every hundred has signs of night blindness then Vitamin A deficiency exits in that community. A more sensitive issue but one which can have enormous benefits is to enquire how young babies are fed. Obviously other pressures exist that cause mothers to switch to artificial feeding but a sensible discussion on the plus points of breast feeding can assist both the current generation of young babies and those yet to be conceived. If such a survey discovers that less than half of the young babies are being breast fed then experience suggests that Vitamin A deficiency probably exists amongst the youngest members of the community. Such a discovery provides an excellent opportunity for those foods that do contain Vitamin A to be publicised to mothers.

Within school children can also be encouraged to:

·        play pretend games to discover what it is like to blind

·        design posters showing those foods that contain Vitamin A

·        compose songs or poems that tell of the benefits of certain foods


Vitamin A deficiency is a terrible illness to suffer from, yet with care, attention and knowledge its dreadful impact can be reduced.

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