Vitamin A supplementation for children 6-59 months old is an important intervention that boosts immune function, especially where children do not consume enough vitamin-A-rich foods. However, the low coverage of vitamin A supplementation is a persistent problem in low- and middle-income countries. We first estimated the percentage of children 6-23 months old receiving the minimum dietary diversity, vitamin-A-rich foods, and vitamin A supplementation, and second, the difference in the percentage receiving vitamin A supplementation between children 6-23 months old and children 24-59 months old using nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys, namely, the Demographic and Health Surveys, conducted from 2010 to 2019 in 51 low- and middle-income countries. Overall, 22% (95% CI: 22, 23) of children received the minimum dietary diversity, 55% (95% CI: 54, 55) received vitamin-A-rich foods, 59% (95% CI: 58, 59) received vitamin A supplementation, and 78% (95% CI: 78, 79) received either vitamin-A-rich foods or supplementation. A wide variation across countries was observed; for example, the percentage of children that received either vitamin-A-rich foods or supplementation ranged from 53% (95% CI: 49, 57) in Guinea to 96% (95% CI: 95, 97) in Burundi. The coverage of vitamin A supplementation should be improved, especially for children 6-23 months old, in most countries, particularly where the consumption of vitamin-A-rich foods is inadequate.
- Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi