Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2004
Publication Date: 11/15/2004
Citation: Maziya-Dixon, B., Sanusi, R.A., Akinyele, I.O., Oguntona, E.B., Harris, E.W. 2004. Vitamin a status of children under 5 in Nigeria: Results of the Nigeria food consumption and nutrition survey. In: Proceedings of the Vitamin A and the Common Agenda for Micronutrients, November 15-17, 2004, Lima, Peru. Abstract T45, p. 56. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Vitamin A deficiency is a serious and widespread public health problem in developing countries. It is a common cause of childhood morbidity and mortality. In Nigeria, the infant and under-five mortality is and per thousand live births, respectively. To reduce the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in Nigeria, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and various universities and institutions in the country conducted a baseline nationwide food consumption and nutrition survey in 2001 to inform strategies to address vitamin A deficiency in Nigeria. One of the objectives of the survey was to assess the vitamin A status of children under-5 years of age. A total of 12 States, 72 Local Government Areas, 216 Enumeration Areas, and 6480 households with a mother and child pair were sampled. Blood samples were collected for the determination of serum retinol. Results indicate that nationwide 29.5% of children under-5 were vitamin A deficient. The level of vitamin A deficiency was high at 31.3% in the dry savanna, 24.0% in the moist savanna, and 29.9% in the humid forest. More children with clinical deficiency lived in the humid forest (7.1%) than in the dry savanna (3.1%) and moist savanna (2.4%). The distribution of vitamin A deficient children under-5 was 25.6% in the rural, 32.6% in the medium, and 25.9% in the urban sectors. Further analysis revealed that 7.5% of the children in the medium sector, 3.4% in the urban sector, and 2.2% in the rural sector were clinically deficient. In conclusion, vitamin A deficiencies are a severe public health problem in Nigeria. While the proportion of children with low serum vitamin A levels varies agro-ecologically and across sectors, it is a significant public health problem in all agro-ecological zones and sectors.