Vitamin A deficiency is a major public health problem affecting an estimated 190 million preschool children. Infants and young children have increased needs for Vitamin A to support their rapid growth and help them fight infections. At this age, inadequate intakes of this vitamin can lead to deficiency, which, if severe, can result in visual impairment (night blindness) or increased risk of morbidity or mortality. Studies have shown that increasing the Vitamin A intake for a child suffering from deficiency can reduce their mortality rate by nearly 23%.
UNICEF is developing Vitamin A supplementation programmes around the world which revolve around the following key principles: communication with those directly and indirectly affected, routine and targeted provision of Vitamin A supplements, and awareness raising within the community.
In 2017, L'OCCITANE and its Foundation began their partnership with UNICEF in helping finance international Vitamin A supplement programmes.
Providing a minimum of 1 million euros per year for four years, this partnership aims to improve the prevention of childhood blindness in Bolivia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea, by distributing to children aged 6 months to 5 years the 2 vital doses of vitamin A, essential for the immune system of children.
In 2018, the funds raised by L’OCCITANE even allowed it to expand their support of UNICEF's programme to include an additional country, Niger. In December 2018, Niger adopted a national nutritional policy in which the country committed to taking action to prevent and treat all forms of malnutrition.
Budget 4,360,000 euros
Outcomes 6,000,000 children
In 2020, L'OCCITANE and its Foundation renewed their partnership with UNICEF for a further three years to support Vitamin A supplementation campaigns around the World, providing a minimum of 1 million euros per year.
From 2021, thanks to this new collaboration, 3 million more children will receive two doses of Vitamin A annually, and will thus be protected from blindness and the diseases that result from this deficiency
Budget 2,000,000 euros
Goal +3,000,000 children
Ah Nyaw is 24 years old and currently pregnant with her second child. With her first child, she was not aware of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, nor the childhood immunization schedule or other interventions required for the growth and development of her son. Today, she and her neighbors regularly come to HPA supported health sessions and is receiving antenatal vitamins and tetanus immunization to support a health pregnancy. She proudly shows her child health card records and says, “I also make sure my son gets all his vaccinations and vitamins on time”.
Ah Nyaw, a beneficiary's mother
"I had little health knowledge before becoming a community health volunteer. The children in our village have no more problems with their eyes since they regularly receive vitamin A supplements. I really feel proud and accomplished to be a health volunteer in the community."
Daw N Gun Sam Taung, from Laiza (Myanmar)
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