In the Saint Louis region of Senegal, almost half the population lives on less than $2 a day. The high rates of poverty also mean that many children lack access to nutritious food, and vitamin A deficiency is extremely high. This important micronutrient is crucial for strengthening vision, building immune systems to fight illness, and preventing disease, but many children aren’t getting enough vitamin A. Simple interventions can make a world of difference for their future potential.
That’s why Helen Keller Intl is working to deliver millions of doses of vitamin A in Senegal and 11 other countries across Africa. Staff in Senegal work with local health care centers to integrate doses of vitamin A into routine healthcare visits. Every six months, a child receives a dose of vitamin A until the age of five. Research shows that providing doses of vitamin A supplementation twice a year to children from six months to five years of age can reduce child mortality by nearly 25%.
David Doledec, Program Director of Vitamin A Supplementation, shares how vitamin A is changing the lives of growing children before his eyes.
“It’s been amazing to watch these babies grow into children, to see them with their mothers, with their brothers and sisters, to see them just being kids. The opposite could have happened.”David Doledec, Program Director of Vitamin A Supplementation
Today our work is more important than ever. The global pandemic, along with food shortages and price surges caused by war and conflict, have meant that families are at higher risk of extreme hunger, malnutrition, and poor health.
With the support of our donors, Helen Keller was able to deliver 30 million capsules of vitamin A around the world last year, despite these difficult times.
Please help us continue our work to help children reach their true potential.