90% of people with visual impairments live in developing countries. While most visual impairments can be easily treated, the most effective and cost-effective approach is prevention. In fact, 80% of all cases of blindess are avoidable. According to the World Health Organisation, vitamin A deficiency due to malnutrition is one of the leading causes of blindness in children. This currently affects a third of children under five1, or 127 million children worldwide.
In developing countries, 250,000 to 500,000 children go blind each year due to a lack of vitamin A. Vitamin A can prevent blindness, but it is also vital for a child's development in general. Studies have shown that increasing the Vitamin A intake for a child suffering from deficiency can reduce their mortality rate by nearly 23%.
In Bolivia, newborns and young children (27% are aged between 6 and 23 months) are more at risk of serious vitamin A deficiency. In Myanmar, 38% of the population suffers from a high level of vitamin A deficiency, with this figuring reaching 60% in some regions. Only 22% of children in Papua New Guinea are able to benefit from vitamin A supplements.