The United Nations Children's Fund (unicef), in a drive against polio in Pakistan, will provide a high potency vitamin for children under five years. The aim of the programme is to eliminate one aspect of "hidden hunger" in the country, within a year.
The initial policy decision was taken in Islamabad between the federal nutrition division and unicef recently, said sources. Vitamin A will be dispensed during the second national immunisation day against polio which will be held in the third week of November. Officials said the vitamin will be administered in capsules of 200,000 and 100,000 international units each. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and its deficiency leads to blindness in children and causes premature death in adults and children.
Civil war, drought and pests have crippled food production in sub-Saharan Africa, where hundreds of thousands of people risk starvation, a un agency said recently. The Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation said in a report that 10 million people in 16 countries require emergency food aid. The worst off, said fao 's senior economist, Mwita Rukandema, is Angola, where a flare-up of the civil war has made aid delivery virtually impossible. "People are being systematically driven out of their homes by unita forces, who cut off roads, ambush vehicles and shell the cities. If this continues, then in another two months we will hear horrible stories of mass starvation," said Rukandema.
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