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Vitamin A still a problem in tribal dominant state of Meghalaya, north east part of India

Poster Details

First Author: V.Surong INDIA

Co Author(s):    S. Saikia              

Abstract Details


Vitamin A deficiency, is one of the most common causes of corneal blindness in children and it is still a common problem in developing countries and there are reports of its prevalence in some pockets of India. .Vitamin A deficiency is linked to under five mortality rate and is an indicator for vitamin A deficiency. Meghalaya situated in North - East part of India has a high under five mortality rate/infant mortality rate. The pilot project aims to determine what are the various cause that leads to vitamin A deficiency and its magnitude which would be able to help the eye care providers to plan and take appropriate measures and provides eye care services.


Mission trust and Bawri Nethralaya Meghalaya north - east india.


The pilot study was conducted (September 2013) in the village of west khasi hills of Meghalaya (Markasa) and Mawkyrwat and the village of Jaintia hills (Laimer ) .The pilot projects was done in collaboration with the ongoing CBR programs in those village where the CBR workers were given additional preliminary training how to detect corneal blindness , bitots spots, night blindness in children less than 16years with immunization history including nutrition and sanitation practice. They were then provided with basic screening kits and sent to various houses in the village to refer those with various eye problems detected to a particular screening venue ophthalmic team who offered further screening and referred those needing treatment to the eye center for further management.


Of the total 32 children detected 16 from village Mawkyrwat and 7 from Markasa and 9 from Laimer village children with visual disability were identified. In (29.4%) childrens the etiology was unknown but most causes were acquired in childhood. And (16.12%).childrens with corneal scarring following measles infection,(12.92%)childrens following bouts of diarrheal diseases,(16.12%)childrens following redness and ulcer. (9.68%)childrens with bitots spot and (16.12%) with night blindness and one was excludes due to retinitis pigmentosa. The CBR method was effective in identifying the under 5 year age group children in the remote tribal villages. Early detection in many cases may allow us to provide appropriate services, regular follow-up services and health and importance of immunization, nutrition awareness on maternal and child health.


Blindness/SVI from /avoidable and treatable causes through this pilot study reflects that the states is still having VAD problem since younger children of less than 5 years are still the sufferers and this emphasizes the importance of primary prevention. There is an urgent need to prioritize child health and nutrition program and strengthen Vitamin A coverage and awareness on importance of measles vaccination,sanitation and hygiene practice. The CBR programs also hold promise for detecting blind children, developing and encouraging community participation and increasing awareness, at the household level. FINANCIAL INTEREST: NONE

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