Vitamin A supplementation in infants and children 6–59 months of age
Vitamin A deficiency affects about 190 million preschool-age children, mostly from Africa and South-East Asia. In infants and children, vitamin A is essential to support rapid growth and to help combat infections. Inadequate intakes of vitamin A may lead to vitamin A deficiency that, when severe, can cause night blindness and may increase the risk of illness and death from childhood infections, including measles and diarrhoea.
Vitamin A supplementation in infants and children 6–59 months of age has been used for several years as a strategy to improve infant survival during this period of life, when children are at high risk of death.
Based on the available evidence, in settings where vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem, the WHO recommends high-dose vitamin A supplementation every 4 to 6 months for infants and children 6–59 months of age, as a public health intervention to reduce child morbidity and mortality.
Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
- Vitamin A supplementation for preventing morbidity and mortality in children from 6 months to 5 years of age
- Micronutrient supplementation in children and adults with HIV infection
Related systematic reviews
- Vitamin A supplements for preventing mortality, illness, and blindness in children aged under 5: systematic review and meta-analysis