Factors influencing the uptake of pulse vitamin A supplementation among children in a rural area in India: a cross sectional study

Vinod K. Ramani, Anand Lakshman


Background: The change in strategy of India’s National Program for the prevention and control of nutritional blindness due to Vitamin A deficiency during 2006, aims for all children aged 9 months to 5 years to receive biannual pulse dose of Vitamin A with a total nine mega doses of Vitamin A. Micronutrient initiative (MI) was providing technical assistance to the State Health department of Karnataka in implementing the new bi-annual strategy, in partnership with UNICEF during the period 2006 to 2010.

Methods: During July 2006, the Investigator evaluated its coverage in Gulbarga district. This study assessed the factors influencing the uptake of pulse Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) among children from impoverished background. Using oral questionnaires, a total of 30 Parents (Mothers) of these children, 12 childcare workers (AWWs), 12 peripheral health workers (ANMs) were interviewed regarding barriers towards implementing this Program and assessment of the facilities (12 Anganwadi centres) were conducted.

Results: Only 28% of the facility had some IEC display regarding VAS. 75% of ANMs were aware that either green leafy vegetables or fish or fruits are the main source of micronutrients. A similar number of ANMs knew that Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness, >90% of AWW had informed parents about the program during the monthly mother meetings. <20% of parents were aware of the current pulse VAS program and a similar number were aware of the next round of supplementation.

Conclusions: Regular interaction with families, monitoring the activities of field level health workers and supportive supervision will enable uptake of VAS Program. Future action should prioritize sub-district level units – blocks and villages, with higher concentration of poor households.


Anganwadi center, Bi-annual strategy, Micronutrient deficiency, Micronutrient initiative, Pulse dose, Vitamin A supplementation

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