New Manual on CDTI and VAS
Nancy Haselow, HKI’s Onchocerciasis Director, has written a manual offering an overview of the problems that vitamin A deficiency and onchocerciasis pose as well as providing concrete information about practical steps that can be taken to solve these problems. She promotes the integration of vitamin A supplementation (VAS) into existing Community-Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI) for onchocerciasis, thereby addressing two serious public health problems simultaneously. The success of CDTI is based on the strategy of communities taking responsibility for their health, and is currently being implemented in 26 African countries, all of which also have vitamin A deficiency problems of public health importance. An integrated CDTI and vitamin A supplementation program can potentially increase coverage of both ivermectin and vitamin A. “Based on a conservative estimate, ensuring adequate vitamin A supplementation through CDTI will reach over 11 million children and save the lives of 72,000 children per year.” The manual also provides information about support and resource organizations and materials that are available.