De-worming for Children in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The City of Johannesburg is to offer de-worming medication, catch-up immunization and administer Vitamin A to children under the age of 12 during national Child Health Week.

The City of Johannesburg's Health Department spokesperson, Nkosinathi Nkabinde, urged parents to sign the consent forms that will be sent to the day-care centres and pre-primary schools to give the health personnel permission to administer these services at certain campaign posts.

"Each child's Road to Health Chart / Clinic card will be checked at each campaign post to ascertain if the child is up-to-date with immunizations, if any immunization was missed, then it will be given at the post and be recorded on the card after administration," Mr Nkabinde said.

He said that all children visiting the posts will be assessed for their nutritional status, and measurement of the mid upper arm circumference will be the method that will be used during the campaign.

Children requiring interventions will be referred appropriately, Mr Nkabinde said.

De-worming tablets will be given to children 12 to 59 months for the control and reduction of diseases that accompany worm infestation.

Vitamin A will be administered to administration to children 12 to 59 months. It is essential for eye health and the proper functioning of the immune system thus reducing the severity of childhood illnesses.

Carrots are well known to be one of the richest sources of vitamin A. It is a well established fact that vitamin A is very essential for healthy eyes, rather a better night vision. Amongst the vitamins that are considered beneficial for the eyes, vitamin A tops the list.

In ancient times, the nutritional value of carrots lead to them being considered as medicines to cure stomach ailments, wounds, liver ailments and ulcers. Paintings from the past of vegetables show that carrots were well-developed in size and quality even 400 years ago.

Sources of Vitamin A:
Carotenoids are substances that give carrots their orange color.
They are found in many red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as in green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays important role in sight, growth, and development and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes; immune functions; and reproduction. The deficiency has chances of leading to several other forms of infections. It has been shown to cause night blindness in pregnant women.

Sept 2009