U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Peter W. Bodde and U.S. Mission staff joined Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population Vitamin A campaign on Sunday April 19, visiting sites in greater Kathmandu where children were receiving Vitamin A drops. Mission staff aided in the delivery of Vitamin A to eligible children and in educating them on healthy eating.
According to a press release issued by US Embassy, vitamin A deficiency was once a severe health problem in Nepal. Two large, community-based trials financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the 1980s found that child mortality could be reduced up to 30% through the distribution of Vitamin A to children aged 6 – 59 months. Based on the results of these two trials, the National Vitamin A Program was developed and, since 1993, has been implemented by the Ministry of Health and Population with technical assistance from USAID. Today the biannual program reaches 3.2 million children under the age of 5 and prevents an estimated 15,000-18,000 child deaths in Nepal.