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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 23, No. 2, 2005, pp. 156-164
Bioline Code: hn05019
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2005, pp. 156-164

 en Socioeconomic Differentials in Supplementation of Vitamin A: Evidence from the Philippines
Choi, Yoonjoung; Bishai, David & Hill, Kenneth


The efficacy of supplementation of vitamin A in child survival has been well-demonstrated. However, the effectiveness of a programme of vitamin A supplementation at the population level has been rarely examined. Understanding how programmes reach disadvantaged children can help improve the design of initiatives of vitamin A supplementation. The differentials in receipt of vitamin A by socioeconomic status were assessed using data from the Philippines. Factors associated with receipt of vitamin A during the last six months were examined using the Philippines Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1993 and 1998. In total, 6,970 and 6,118 children aged 12- 59 months were included in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Logistic regression was used for identifying associations between the outcome and the household socioeconomic variables. The coverage of national-level vitamin A supplementation increased from 27% in 1993 to 79% in 1998. However, children whose mothers did not complete primary education and children living in poor households were less likely to receive supplementation. This disparity increased between the surveys: the adjusted odds of vitamin A intake by poor households compared to middle-class households declined from 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.87) in 1993 to 0.52 (95% CI 0.42-0.63)] in 1998, resulting in an increased health inequity. The vitamin A programme in the Philippines was not uniformly successful in reaching the most vulnerable children. Approaches targeting vulnerable households or approaches not requiring mothers to travel to distribution centres may be more promising.

Vitamin A deficiency; Vitamin A supplementation; Socioeconomic factors; The Philippines

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