An easy pill to swallow

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The campaign is targeting the inoculation of some 21 million children

A major health concern in Bangladesh is the severe deficiency of vitamin-A among children, which results in a raft of symptoms including blindness, delayed growth, skin disorders, and poor wound healing.

To that end, it is good to know that the government is well aware of the crisis and has taken various steps to improve the situation, including, but not limited to, a comprehensive campaign to provide children between six months and 59 months with various forms of vitamin-A supplements.

The campaign is targeting the inoculation of some 21 million children, through the use of mobile health centres being set up at bus stands, railway stations, launch terminals, airports, and other venues where queuing up is convenient.

Needless to say, this is an excellent initiative.

While providing vitamin-A supplements to children is a great way to tackle this most pressing of health crises in the short term, there are other initiatives that the government can consider in the long run as well.

We can further develop, for example, the vitamin-A rich Golden Rice that scientists in Bangladesh have been working on for the longest time.

This needs to be made a priority so that it can enter the market in a more timely manner.

Supplements and capsules are a good short-term strategy, since vitamin-A rich foods are usually out of the reach of poor and those living in the more rural areas of Bangladesh, Golden Rice stands to make a big impact in terms of tackling vitamin-A deficiency if it can get the proper approval in time from the international community of scientists and researchers.

Bangladesh has, for the longest time, faltered when it comes to health care, but with the potential success of the vitamin-A drive, we stand to turn things around.