The whole purpose of this blog is to help us upgrade and tweak our health rather than to address malnutrition. But today I want to refer to a major worldwide deficiency in Vitamin A which is the very first of the vitamins to be discovered. Like other vitamins it is vital to our health and like other vitamins without eating a sufficient amount of vitamin A we suffer and maybe die.
Vitamin A is vital to the full functioning of the immune system and without it or without ingesting enough of what came to be called Retinol we have less ability to fight back against infection and disease. In the West we generally get enough retinol quite easily; in Africa and other parts of the Third World children may be at risk.
One of the main ways we can tell if a child is suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A is to see that their eyes become severely inflamed and infected. Adding butter or cod liver oil to the diet quickly supplies the needed retinol and the children recover.
Vitamin Angels are a charity founded in 1994 by Howard Schiffer whose purpose is to correct these deficiencies in childrens nutrition worldwide.
According to the World Health Organisation
An estimated 250 000 to 500 000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight.
It is horrifying to me that a child could go blind from such an easily fixable problem and even worse that the vitamin deficiency is so severe that the child dies when for the cost of some vitamin A supplementation they could live a full and happy life.
The website of Vitamin Angels is here