Short Reports

A strategy for scaling up vitamin A supplementation for young children in a remote rural setting in Zimbabwe

Wisdom Garikai Dube, Talent Makoni, Tasiana Krispin Nyadzayo, Namukolo Margaret Covic

Abstract


Background. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in Zimbabwe. Addressing vitamin A deficiency has the potential to enhance resistance to disease and reduce mortality especially in children aged <5 years.

Objective. To describe a vitamin A supplementation outreach strategy implemented in one of the remote rural districts in Zimbabwe, which increased coverage after being implemented in difficult circumstances in a remote rural region.

Methods. We implemented and adapted a vitamin A supplementation outreach strategy within the national immunisation days (NIDs) and extended programme of immunisation in a remote rural district in Zimbabwe. The strategy involved supplementating children at prescheduled outreach points once per month for the whole year. Despite usual operational challenges faced at implementation, this approach enabled the district to increase delivery of vitamin A supplements to young children in the district.

Results. The strategy covered 63 outreach sites, with two sites being covered per day and visited once per month for the whole year. Coverage reached 71% in an area in which previous coverage rates were around <50%.

Conclusion. Implementing a vitamin A supplementation outreach strategy increased vitamin A supplementation coverage among children living in a remote rural region. This strategy can potentially be used by Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) member states. However, we recommend further exploration of this strategy by others working in similar circumstances.


Authors' affiliations

Wisdom Garikai Dube, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa

Talent Makoni, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Gokwe-North District, Zimbabwe

Tasiana Krispin Nyadzayo, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, National Nutrition Department, Zimbabwe

Namukolo Margaret Covic, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Young child; strategy; supplementation; vitamin A; scaling up

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2014;8(2):64-67. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.618

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-05-27
Date published: 2014-04-25

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