Vitamin A

Vitamin A supplementation is an important and low-cost intervention for controlling severe and potentially fatal diarrheal episodes.

The relative risk of dying from diarrhea increases two-fold in children with vitamin A deficiency. In countries where under-five mortality rates are high, giving semi-annual vitamin A supplements to children 6 to 59 months old decreases overall mortality from all childhood diseases by 23 percent and mortality from diarrhea by 32 percent.1

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Rice AL, West, Jr KP, Black RF. Vitamin A deficiency. In: (Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Murray CL, eds): Comparative quantification of health risks—global and regional burden of disease attributable to selected major health risk factors. Volume 1. Geneva: WHO; 2004.