Vitamin A

The body's ability to absorb vitamin A during diarrhea is reduced, which may lead to acute vitamin A deficiency. Repeated episodes may lead to blindness and signs of xerophthalmia. If these are recognized, 200 000 units of vitamin A should be orally administered to children (100 000 units for infants). There should be two subsequent doses, one the following day and another in 4 weeks. In areas where vitamin A deficiency is a problem, any foods that are rich in carotene should be administered (including dark leafy vegetables and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables). Vitamin A deficiency is most common among severely undernourished children and among children who have recently recovered from the measles.

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