The biannual Vitamin A strategy through a campaign approach led to a progressively increasing coverage of Vitamin A in Chhattisgarh. The past three rounds (2013 onwards) have reported Vitamin A coverage of 89.4%, 81.5% and 84.3%. The study was undertaken with the objective of validating the reported Vitamin A coverage.
The WHO 30X30 cluster survey methodology was used by UNICEF supported consultants. The sample was taken across the State.
A total of 902 children between age group 9 months to 59 months were assessed for Vitamin A Coverage. The evaluated coverage for Vitamin A is 52.9%. The Vitamin A reported coverage is 84.3%.One of the most important barriers to improved Vitamin A Coverage is mother’s poor knowledge. 48% of mothers were unaware of need for Vitamin A Supplementation. 25% mothers were not aware of need to return for subsequent doses. About 40% were not aware of the place and time of sessions.The next barrier is poor knowledge levels of Female Health Workers (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives). Knowledge levels were assessed forbenefits of VAS, strategies to combat VAS and age-appropriate dose and were found to be low.
The validated coverage for Vitamin A shows a huge gap against the reported coverage. Health Worker knowledge and skills as well as mothers’ knowledge levels are important barriers that need to be studied and documented. The post event coverage survey provides data for validation and can be conducted after every Vitamin A coverage round.