- About A2Z
- Focus Areas
- Country Activities
- Child Blindness
The objectives of A2Z’s program in Uganda are to support increased vitamin A supplementation coverage in selected districts, expand coverage of fortified foods, improve coverage and adherence to anemia protocols for pregnant women, and support development of guidelines to include zinc in diarrhea case management for young children.
Sustainable Vitamin A Supplementation
A2Z supports Uganda’s national Child Days Plus (CDP) program for vitamin A and deworming each year at national and district levels. The project is collaborating with the Neglected Tropical Diseases program to train community medicine distributors to administer vitamin A supplements to children 6-59 months old, assist target districts in the development of guidelines, share best practices for planning of Child Days Plus, and conduct regional Child Days Plus feedback and planning meetings in collaboration with UNICEF. The project also supports data collection and supervision activities as part of the national health management information system.
A2Z provides technical inputs to a wheat and maize flour fortification program supported by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). A2Z is also strengthening existing fortification programs in such as areas as inspection and monitoring of iodized salt and vitamin A fortified oil. The country routinely supervises factories, importation sites, and retail stores. Most of the salt in the country complies with iodization regulation, and more than 95 percent of the oil available at retail stores appears to be fortified with adequate vitamin A content. Wheat flour samples are also periodically analyzed for their iron content. A food and nutrition consumption survey is underway in collaboration with Makerere University, the National Working Group in Food Fortification, and GAIN to determine the suitability and potential benefit of the food fortification policies of the country. As part of advocacy and planning support, A2Z is assisting in cost studies of oil and sugar fortification.
Scaling Up Maternal Anemia Reduction Packages
A2Z works at national and district levels to help implement national guidelines on the prevention and control of maternal anemia. The intervention package includes reduction of malaria, deworming, and improved iron intake. Efforts are underway to revitalize maternal anemia reduction activities by positioning it as a key maternal mortality reduction approach. The project is systematically addressing bottlenecks such as low health worker knowledge and motivation and generally low community awareness (especially among mothers) on the dangers of anemia. Another bottleneck—poor logistics management with frequent stock outs of iron—was examined as part of an assessment of the availability of micronutrient supplements and medicines for use in micronutrient programs. The assessment was conducted in Uganda by A2Z in collaboration with MSH/RPM+.
Zinc Treatment for Children with Diarrhea
A2Z provided assistance to the MOH in reviewing the plan for revitalization of oral rehydration therapy and advocated for the inclusion of zinc as an adjunct therapy for diarrhea treatment. Zinc therapy as part of diarrhea management was accepted as national treatment in December 2006.
Other A2Z activities include participation in the MOH’s Essential Nutrition Action (ENA) working group, conducting ENA advocacy and situational assessments, and review and feedback on the role of micronutrients in the treatment of HIV and AIDS.