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Coverage and factors associated with vitamin A supplementation among children aged 6–59 months in twenty-three sub-Saharan African countries

Berde, Anselm S, Bester, Petra, Kruger, Iolanthé M
Public health nutrition 2019 v.22 no.10 pp. 1770-1776
children, educational status, health surveys, mothers, regression analysis, risk, urban areas, vitamin A, Sub-Saharan Africa
The present study aimed to give an overall view of the pattern of high-dose vitamin A supplementation (VAS) coverage in twenty-three sub-Saharan African countries and factors associated with receipt of VAS among children aged 6–59 months. Cross-sectional data from the twenty-three Demographic and Health Surveys conducted from 2011 to 2015 in twenty-three sub-Saharan African countries were pooled. A multilevel logistic regression model was used to explore factors associated with VAS. Twenty-three sub-Saharan African countries. Children (n 215 511) aged 6–59 months. The overall coverage of VAS among children aged 6–59 months for the surveys included was 59·4 %. In the multivariable analysis, children whose mothers had primary (adjusted OR (aOR)=1·43; 95 % CI 1·39, 1·47) or secondary or above (aOR=1·72; 95 % CI 1·67, 1·77) educational status were more likely to receive VAS than children whose mothers had no formal education. Other factors associated with significantly increased likelihood of VAS were: living in urban areas; children of working mothers; children whose mothers had higher media exposure; children of older mothers v. children of mothers aged 15–19 years; and older children v. children aged 6–11 months. At the country level, lower media exposure was significant and negatively associated with VAS. Broader VAS coverage is needed according to our data. More efforts are needed to scale up coverage, focusing mostly on groups at risk of non-receipt of vitamin A.