Purpose: To compare vitamin A supplementation status of children age 6–60 months to the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency disease, malnutrition, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infection.
Methods: The nutritional status of children was estimated using mid-upper-arm circumference measurements. A trained ophthalmology assistant assessed for clinical signs of vitamin A deficiency disease. A trained female community health worker interviewed mothers about child health status using a standardized questionnaire.
Results: Compared to children who did not receive supplements, children who received vitamin A supplements regularly had less malnutrition, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infection, regardless of the number of children per household, age, sex, or father's occupation.
Conclusions: Supplementation with vitamin A is necessary twice a year. Children who received a vitamin A capsule only one time were not as protected as were those children who received vitamin A as a regular twice yearly scheduled dose.