Global Prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiency
Micronutrient Deficiency Information System, No. 2 (WHO/NUT/95.3)
Document produced by the WHO Division of Nutrition
Technical Units
Order Number    19300073   
Price    CHF    10.00 / US$    12.00 Developing countries:    CHF    7.00
English     1995        126   pages
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Summary
A report on the global distribution of vitamin A deficiency, including the latest estimates of prevalence for each country where this deficiency is known or suspected to occur. The report responds to the need to identify populations with subclinical deficiency, as well as those with xerophthalmia, in order to quantify the at-risk population and design interventions in line with the true magnitude and severity of the problem. The report was compiled by WHO from the vitamin A portion of its Micronutrient Deficiency Information System, which also maintains data on iodine and iron.
The report has four sections. The first provides a concise state-of-the art summary of what is known about vitamin A deficiency, its causes, and its multiple effects on health. Also described are the underlying epidemiological features that characterize most situations where vitamin A deficiency occurs as a public health problem, and the technical and methodological issues that arise when attempting to estimate prevalence.
Against this background, the most extensive section presents summary tables showing the most recent prevalence data by country and by region. These tables, accompanied by explanatory notes on data sources and study designs, also categorize the level of public health problems caused by vitamin A deficiency as mild, moderate, or severe. Section three presents more detailed national and subnational prevalence data specific to ocular signs and symptoms and the serum retinol levels detected. The report concludes with full bibliographic references to all data sources used for the estimates.