With health systems around the world still recovering from the effects of COVID-19, we continued our 18-month vitamin A supplementation (VAS) emergency response project in Africa to ensure children were not left unprotected. With support from the Government of Canada, our efforts were able to reach our target of 35 million children with at least one dose of vitamin A by the project’s halfway point. Additionally, we provided technical assistance to countries in the region to develop costed, multi-year and context-specific plans and budgets for national coverage so that we could identify gaps that required support.
In Senegal, we hosted a three-day capacity building workshop, attended by delegates from 16 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, that focused on strengthening capacity to achieve high coverage of VAS delivered through primary healthcare systems. We supported state governments in India to digitalize their state-specific VAS monitoring checklists to facilitate and strengthen monitoring mechanisms and allow for timely corrective actions. In Bangladesh, alongside providing technical assistance to the government to revise new national guidelines for the national vitamin A campaign, we also supported the development of a digital version and an e-learning platform for more cost-effective dissemination and training.
For more than 30 years, Nutrition International has been a global leader in vitamin A, improving global delivery, industry standards, policies and access to ensure children are not missed with their lifesaving doses. We work closely with manufacturers, governments and on-the-ground partners to provide up to 75% of the world’s supply of vitamin A capsules. Since 1998, we have supplied more than 12 billion capsules globally, through the in-kind donation program, implemented with UNICEF, and with support from the Government of Canada. As the host and chair of the Global Alliance for Vitamin A (GAVA), we bring together organizations, policy makers and program implementers to share research and develop policies and tools to accelerate progress toward improved child survival and reduction in the consequences of vitamin A deficiency worldwide.