Coverage of the vitamin A supplementation programme for child survival in Nepal: Success and challenges

A. M. Nguyen, D. S. Grover, K. Sun, V. K. Raju, R. D. Semba, D. A. Schaumerg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Nepal's national vitamin A programme, which began in 1993 and continues twice yearly, targets pre-school-aged children in all districts of the country in an effort to reduce morbidity, mortality and nutritional blindness. Objective: To characterize the coverage of the Nepal National Vitamin A Programme (NVAP) for pre-schoolaged children in Nepal and to identify risk factors for failure to receive vitamin A supplementation. Methods: The relationship between receipt of a vitamin A capsule and demographic and health indicators was examined in a cross-sectional study of 4013 children aged 12-59 months and their families who participated in the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), a nationally representative survey. Coverage of the vitamin A programme was compared with coverage estimates from surveys in 2001 and 2006. Results: Coverage estimates of the national vitamin A programme for children aged 12-59 months as assessed by the 2001, 2006 and 2011 NDHS were 84.3%, 96.6% and 92.1%, respectively. Children who missed a vitamin A capsule were more likely to be younger and anaemic, have less educated parents, live in rural areas, and have higher child and infant mortality in the family. Conclusions: The national vitamin A supplementation programme in Nepal has relatively high coverage of children aged 12-59 months but still misses children in families with high child mortality. Further measures might be needed to sustain a high level of programme coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalPaediatrics and International Child Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Nepal
  • Nutritional blindness
  • Vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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