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.
- Nutritional blindness
- Vitamin A
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health