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close this bookScurvy and its Prevention and Control in Major Emergencies (WHO; 1999; 70 pages)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentScurvy: definition
open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
open this folder and view contentsScurvy
open this folder and view contentsVitamin C
open this folder and view contentsRecommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
open this folder and view contentsSources of vitamin C
open this folder and view contentsStrategies to prevent scurvy in large refugee populations
View the documentCosts
close this folderConclusions and recommendations
close this folderPrimary strategies
View the documentNatural sources of vitamin C
View the documentVitamin C-fortified foods
View the documentVitamin C supplements
View the documentSupporting strategies
View the documentReferences
View the documentAnnex 1
View the documentAnnex 2
View the documentAnnex 3
View the documentBack Cover

Vitamin C supplements

In situations where a population is at high risk of scurvy or where cases of scurvy have already been identified and all the other options for intervention are not immediately feasible, the following alternative needs to be considered:

Supplementation with weekly vitamin C tablets. Distribution of vitamin C tablets weekly under supervision may be one of the options to prevent scurvy in the initial phase of an emergency. Ideally vitamin C tablets should be distributed for daily supplementation but it is difficult to maintain consumption consistently over long periods and to achieve a good coverage of the affected population. The possibility of good outcome by weekly dosage as an intervention deserves further field investigation

The interventions to prevent scurvy have to be adapted to the phase of an emergency feeding operation into short-term and longer-term solutions. The initiation phase may involve fortified food aid commodities, or possibly locally procured fruits and vegetables, or where feasible an increase of the general ration by 10%. Promotion of home gardens as well as promotion of local trading and, where feasible, germination may be options during the establishment phase of an operation. Longer-term solutions to prevent scurvy should always aim at the self-sufficiency of emergency-affected households which includes horticultural activities as well as local trading.

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