World Health Day – Food & the Prevention of Blindness

World Health Day was celebrated this month on 7 April, with the WHO highlighting the challenges associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.” The day highlighted the importance of food safety along the length of the food chain from production and transport, to preparation and consumption.

Food and it’s quality plays an vital role in the health of the eyes.

VitamH-eye dept-Dr Carol 21-7-12 -43in A deficiency is the primary cause of preventable blindness in children. It increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections in children and in pregnant women it causes night blindness and may increase the risk of maternal mortality.

Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in more than half of all countries, especially in Africa and South-East Asia, where it mostly effects young children and pregnant women in low-income households.

Vitamin A is a crucial component in lifelong health. The promotion of breastfeeding and a high dose supply of vitamin A to deficient children are low cost solutions that have reduced mortality by 23% but the most effective long term solution is to eat good healthy food.

For vulnerable communities, learning to grow fruits and vegetables in home gardens will have long term, lifelong health benefits.