- About A2Z
- Focus Areas
- Country Activities
- Child Blindness
India: Uttar Pradesh
The population of the state of Uttar Pradesh is equal to the 6th most populous country in the world. Within India, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has the largest number of micronutrient deficient persons. In UP the A2Z team guides the twice-yearly vitamin A supplementation program as well as the anemia programs for women and children at state level. The project works directly with the eastern districts of Allahabad, Kaushambi, Pratapgarh, SR Nagar (Bhadoi), Jaunpur, and Varanasi.
Sustainable Vitamin A Supplementation
A2Z provides technical assistance for policy improvement such as the appropriate age group for vitamin A supplementation (VAS), development of a strategy for VAS in urban areas, and population-based denominators for planning. The project also provides technical assistance for social mobilization, supplies procurement and management, external monitoring of outreach sessions, use of data from the health management information system to improve coverage, and determination of population-based targets for the twice-yearly VAS distributions. A2Z collaborates with WHO’s National Polio Surveillance Project and Routine Immunization Monitoring System activities in UP for monitoring vitamin A distribution rounds. VAS coverage in the 6 direct support districts of A2Z activities has steadily improved.
Scaling Up Maternal Anemia Reduction Packages
A2Z works through the maternal health component of the state maternal and child health program to strengthen outreach services of auxiliary nurse-midwives and workers at government child care centers, improve supplies of iron folic acid, and provide deworming and nutrition education. Activities include advocacy, capacity building of staff, and behavior change communication.
Developing Child Anemia Reduction Packages
A2Z undertook a comprehensive situation analysis that focused on anemia prevalence among children 6-24 months old, potential program platforms for delivery of anemia interventions, acceptability tests of different formulations of iron, and worm prevalence. The analysis included key informant interviews. A package of interventions, based on the findings of the situational analysis, was developed and includes iron supplements, improved feeding practices, deworming, and promotion of hand washing. This package is being tested for feasibility among children 6-24 months old in a population of 265,000 using existing government structures and processes. State policy is being revised to improve distribution of deworming medicines, and the UP government is procuring pediatric iron formulations for infants and young children for the entire state.