It kicked off at 8am on Saturday
The national Vitamin A-plus campaign has begun across the country; it aims to administer Vitamin A-plus capsules to nearly 22 million children, aged between six and 59 months.
The campaign kicked-off on Saturday, with Health and Family Planning Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurating the program at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, at 8am, on Saturday.
Health workers and volunteers will administer the Vitamin A-plus capsules to children at 120,000 permanent and 20 thousand mobile centres across Bangladesh –which will remain open from 8am to 4pm, reports UNB.
In remote areas, the campaign will last for three-to-five more days.
Mobile centres have been set up at bus stops, airports, launch terminals, and other transport points to administer the capsules. At least two trained volunteers are to work at each centre.
“We want to prevent childhood blindness by administering Vitamin A-plus capsules. Blindness has been reduced significantly. Less than 1% of children now suffer from blindness due to Vitamin A deficiency,” the minister said while talking to the media at his ministry’s conference room at the Secretariat on Thursday.
He said Vitamin A-plus capsules have been tested several times in labs to avoid problems this time.
"There is no problem over the quality of Vitamin-A Plus capsules. Some of the capsules, made by prominent local companies, have been brought in from abroad," he said.
The rate of children's night-blindness in the country has come down below one percent and it will be brought to zero level, he said.
The Health Minister also said the rate of night blindness was 3.76% in 1974 when this campaign was launched.
He continued by saying that a child who ingests the capsule will: be safe from night-blindness, see their immune system boosted, keep their eyesight perfect, and be ensured natural growth. He added that there are other benefits like a reduction in the child mortality rate.