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New York Times on the Web. 2002 Mar 4;  p..In India, the death of a 2-year old boy named Wahidur and some 30 other children has halted the vitamin A campaign supported by UN International Children's Emergency Fund. Rumors spread that the vitamin A supplementation has caused the death, causing fear among the people. However, investigation by public health officials revealed that it was not vitamin A that killed many of the children but rather by common sickness like diarrhea and pneumonia. In addition, laboratory tests determined that the vitamin syrup met all the standards. Studies have shown that vitamin A sharply reduces the chances of death of many malnourished youngsters in developing countries due to diarrhea, measles and other diseases. It also helps prevent blindness. According to Dr. Alfred Sommer, an epidemiologist and dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University, an estimated tens of thousands of Indian children would die needlessly if the vitamin A campaign is not restored.