Background: Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a public health problem all around the world, affecting more than 100 countries. Vitamin A deficiency affects the immune system, increasing the risk of illness and early mortality in children. It is also the main contributor to preventable childhood blindness. The best way to treat a child’s vitamin A deficit is to improve their diet by increasing their intake of naturally rich or artificially fortified foods like sugar and processed oils that are high in vitamin A.
In collaboration with Nutrition International, Shifa Foundation is implementing a Vitamin A supplementation program in Pakistan. The project aims to raise awareness and demand for vitamin A supplementation among carers, community leaders, and health workers through social mobilization and communication activities, as well as to improve the coverage and quality of vitamin A supplementation among children aged 6-59 months through routine health services and to improve the quality of vitamin A capsules and their distribution to health facilities and outreach sites.

Key activities to be performed:
• Trainings of District Focal Persons (DFPs) on Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) – the workshops are conducted on annual basis at provincial/regional level where participants are familiarized with major components of VAS Programme.
• Taskforce Meetings (TFMs) conducted twice within the project timeline preferably after the VAS campaign. The main purpose of the TFMs is to identify and redress key issues/challenges related to VAS program. The meeting typically involves officials from Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (MNHSRC), Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), National Emergency Operation Center/WHO, UNICEF, Nutrition International (NI), and Shifa Foundation.
• Monitoring of National Immunization Days (NIDs) by NI in consultation with NEOC and the administrative support of Shifa Foundation in the target low-coverage districts across the country.
• Increase access and uptake to COVID-19 testing and therapeutics, as they get recommended, through development and implementation of robust and evidence-based advocacy strategies supported by advocacy, literacy and communication materials and initiatives adapted to specific population groups, regional and country contexts
• Disseminate and amplify these materials and initiatives through appropriate communication channels to increase prioritization of COVID-19 testing and linkage to treatment in the national pandemic response as well as generate demand for testing and therapeutics within relevant target groups.

Donor: Nutrition International
Focus: Health & Advocacy Coverage: National 

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Bank Name: Al Baraka Bank
Account Title: Shifa Foundation – HAP
Account: 01101-55388-059

Bank Name: Faysal Bank
Account Title: Shifa Foundation
Account: 0169150900218363

Zakat Account
Account Title: Shifa Foundation
IBAN: PK93UMBL0051000062540066 Branch Code: 510 (Rawalpindi Branch)