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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


PITA RODRIGUEZ, Gisela et al. Vitamin A supplementation for school children in boarding schools in Cuba. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2004, vol.30, n.3. ISSN 0864-3466.

Food and Nutrition Surveillance System in Cuba reported vitamin intake below 70% of the recommended amount in a significant percentage of school children from 1992 to 1995. The objectives of this intervention project were to supplement infantile and adolescent populations with vitamin A capsules in boarding and special education schools as well as to monitor the distribution and consumption of capsules in schools throughout the country. In 1998, an intervention project was conducted to provide school children with a 10 000 UI vitamin A capsule on a daily basis for 20 days during the months of May and June. The supplementation cycle was repeated in November and December of the same year. Capsules were distributed by provincial Hygiene and Epidemiology Centers. The physicians and nurses based in schools were in charge of controlling the consumption. Twelve provinces were visited in the first stage whereas all the country’s provinces were visited in the second stage. The total number of children supplemented with capsules nationwide in the first stage amounted to 79,7% of the roll; 93,6% of data from 662 schools was received. At the second stage, 173 951 students (85,4% of the roll) were given the vitamin A capsules and 79,3% of data was collected from schools. The social impact of this intervention program was possible due to the integration of Cuba into the world efforts led by UNESCO to practically eliminate vitamin A deficiency that affects children in developing countries and it was a positive experience in terms of nutritional intervention of national coverage using the primary health care service


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