Combating Vitamin A Deficiency: Strategies to Preserve Eye Health

Combating Vitamin A Deficiency: Strategies to Preserve Eye Health

Health experts advocate for strategies to tackle vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and its detrimental effects on eye health, emphasising the importance of comprehensive approaches to address malnutrition and prevent avoidable blindness, especially among vulnerable populations in low-income countries.

VAD poses a significant global health challenge, particularly impacting children and pregnant women in developing nations where access to nutritious food is limited. According to the World Health Organisation, hundreds of thousands of children annually suffer from blindness due to VAD, necessitating urgent action to enhance nutritional programmes and awareness campaigns.

Dr. Kamal B. Kapur, Co-Founder and Medical Director at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, emphasised the critical consequences of VAD, including xerophthalmia, which can lead to irreversible blindness if left untreated. He underscored the importance of consuming vitamin A-rich foods such as dairy products, eggs, and colourful fruits and vegetables, alongside fortifying staple foods and distributing supplements to combat VAD effectively, especially among children.

Despite progress in addressing VAD, challenges persist in ensuring universal access to adequate vitamin A sources. Dr. Kapur stressed the need for increased investment in public health campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of a balanced diet and Vitamin A’s role in preventing blindness. Addressing VAD requires a comprehensive approach, integrating nutritional needs into public health interventions to improve overall health outcomes.

Dr. Uma Malliah, Senior Consultant, Ophthalmology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, highlighted the essential role of vitamin A in maintaining vision, immune system function, and eye health. She recommended a multifaceted approach, including dietary diversification, staple food fortification, and targeted supplementation programmes, to address VAD effectively. Encouraging the consumption of vitamin A-rich foods and implementing supplementation programmes, particularly for vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women, can mitigate the risk of blindness and enhance overall eye health.


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