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Travel to UNICEF / New York to participate in meeting on integrating vitamin A supplementation into immunization programs, January 12-13, 1998.
Arlington, Virginia, Partnership for Child Health Care, Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival [BASICS], 1998. , 6,  p. (Report; USAID Contract No. HRN-C-00-93-00031-00)This report pertains to a consultant meeting in New York City with UNICEF during January 12-13, 1998, to discuss the integration of vitamin A supplementation into immunization programs. One consultant stayed to talk about vitamin A/immunization training materials being developed by BASICS with World Health Organization (WHO) staff and staff from Helen Keller International. The UNICEF meeting included about 35 participants who were mostly WHO and UNICEF headquarters and field staff. There were WHO regional immunization advisers from the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Three staff from USAID and representatives from Canada attended. Several logistics issues arose. Vitamin A supplementation should be introduced at 4-6 months, but the closest immunization contact period is not until after 9 months or before 4 weeks. Second, there is no medical data to ensure that a massive dose of vitamin A would not interfere with DPT effects. It was agreed that the links are helpful but not limited to the Expanded Program of Immunization. The meeting produced a draft paper on background, summary findings, and conclusions and recommendations, which are included in the appendices. It is concluded that many countries already provide vitamin A during immunization contacts. One single recommended strategy does not meet diverse country settings. Additional fieldwork is needed before solidifying strategies. Training should not be delayed. A packaging alternative is to shift to a small squeeze bottle that can be calibrated by size and dose. The mid-level manager's module on vitamin A and EPI continues to be revised.