SIGHT AND LIFE, Vitamin Angels Promote Indian Eye Health

January 5, 2011

3 Min Read
SIGHT AND LIFE, Vitamin Angels Promote Indian Eye Health

PARSIPPANY, N.J.SIGHT AND LIFE and Vitamin Angels joined to tackle vitamin A deficiencies by fostering local ownership of the problem in India, and catalyzing a locally sustainable supply and distribution system in the country. Through the signing of this partnership, both partners hope to engage other international and Indian for-profit, nonprofit and government entities to mobilize support and participate in this initiative, so as to harness innovative public-private partnerships to sustainably tackle the vitamin A deficiency epidemic in India and improve the lives of millions of infants, children and women.

Both organizations strongly feel that by combining the unique strengths of each into one coordinated effort to address this issue, much more can be accomplished. SIGHT AND LIFE has as its mission to ensure a sustainable and significant improvement in human nutrition, health and well-being through its commitment to fighting micronutrient deficiencies amongst the worlds poor. Vitamin Angels mission is to mobilize and deploy private sector resources to advance availability, access and use of vitamin A, by newborns, infants and children most in need.

Through this partnership, SIGHT AND LIFEs advocacy and technical expertise, and Vitamin Angels successful implementation of universal vitamin A supplementation projects, the organizations aim to reach millions of those in India who have to date not had access to life-saving vitamin A" said Dr. Klaus Kraemer, director of SIGHT AND LIFE.

Some 535 million children around the world, between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, suffer from moderate-to-severe vitamin A deficiency. Thirty seven percent of these children live in India. While the Government of India fully supports initiatives for vitamin A supplementation and a large proportion of infants, children and lactating women receive supplementation, a significant portion of the population has yet to be reached.

While a visible indicator of vitamin A deficiency is xerophthalmia, an eye disorder that can lead to permanent blindness in children, many more suffering from vitamin A deficiency show no signs of xeropthalmia, but have a reduced ability to resist infections that can and does result in death and disability.

SIGHT AND LIFE is a nonprofit humanitarian initiative of DSM. Since the founding in 1986, SIGHT AND LIFE has been championing the global fight against micronutrient deficiencies espousing the belief that the right mix of funds, knowledge, policy and technology will lead to prevention. DSM Nutritional Products supplies vitamins, carotenoids and other fine chemicals to the feed, food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. The business has sales of more than $2.5 billion US and a long tradition as a pioneer in the discovery of new products, new formulations and attractive applications for all industry segments.

Vitamin Angels is dedicated to reducing child mortality worldwide by advancing availability, access and use of essential micronutrients, especially Vitamin A, to newborns, infants and children under 5.  In 2010 Vitamin Angels connected more than 20,000,000 children in 40 countries, including the United States, with the vital nutrients they need as a foundation for good health. 

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