Coverage of the national vitamin A supplementation program in Ethiopia

Richard D. Semba, Saskia de Pee, Kai Sun, Martin W. Bloem, V. K. Raju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Periodic vitamin A supplementation is a major intervention to reduce morbidity, mortality, and blindness among children in developing countries. The goal was to characterize the coverage of the Ethiopia national vitamin A program among preschool children and to identify risk factors for not receiving vitamin A. In the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey of 2005, among 4762 preschool children, aged 12-59 months, 46.8% received a vitamin A capsule within the last 6 months. There were no significant differences in stunting, underweight, or wasting between children who did or did not receive a vitamin A capsule. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, maternal education of ≥10 years [odds ratio (OR) 1.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23-2.92], 7-9 years (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.67-3.65), 4-6 years (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.18-2.07), and 1-3 years (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.90-1.37), and paternal education of ≥10 years (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.14-2.29), 7-9 years (OR 1.24, 95% CI 0.94-1.64), 4-6 years (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.03-1.56), and 1-3 years (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05-1.50) were associated with the child receiving a vitamin A capsule compared with no years of formal parental education. Expanded coverage of the national vitamin A capsule program may help protect children from nutritional blindness and to help reach Millennium goals for reducing under-five child mortality in Ethiopia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of tropical pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Blindness
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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