Welcome to a quick update on the progress of our new vitamin A projects in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand – made possible by your donations exceeding $14,000 through the GlobalGiving platform this past summer.
In our last report, we shared with you that project coordinators and trained volunteers were laying the groundwork in both states by interviewing families and planning distribution events in both rural areas and urban slums. We’re happy to tell you that beginning in October in Uttarakhand state, over 5,000 children received their first dose of vitamin A. Those distribution teams will continue to work until about 10,000 children, and perhaps more, are given regular vitamin A doses.
In Andhra Pradesh state, four new distribution partners have been organized and are continuing the work of interviewing families to find the children who are most at-risk for vitamin A deficiency (VAD). This can be a painstaking and lengthy process, but every malnourished child found makes the effort all the more worthwhile. We anticipate that distribution events in numerous slums and rural areas will begin in March of 2020.
Project directors record families’ and children’s names, dates of vitamin administration, and other pertinent information in a database to track all the children, thus ensuring that they receive vitamin doses every six months. It is this kind of regularity that strengthens a child’s immune system and decreases the possibility that he or she will suffer from stunted growth, night blindness, or other VAD-related illnesses.
Thank you again for your gifts that have made this work possible. Please know that during this holiday season, your generosity is -- quite literally -- saving children’s lives in India.
We wanted to give you an update on the beginnings of our new vitamin A projects in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Your donations of over $14,000 in June and July of this year through our new partnership with the crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving made this possible.
We're pleased to tell you that the first phase of reaching over 14,000 children in both states is underway. Project coordinators and trained volunteers are on the ground in the villages and rural areas of AP and Uttarakhand. They are interviewing families to determine if children age five and younger are receiving any vitamin A supplements while they educate the parents on the importance of adequate vitamin A in their children's diets. This data is entered into a database to help ensure that all registered children will receive vitamin A doses every six months. It is this kind of regularity that will strengthen a child's immune system and decrease the possibility that their eyesight might be affected by night blindness and other eye diseases.
The volunteers and project coordinators are also developing publicity campaigns and procuring needed supplies, such as gloves, hand sanitizer, and reporting forms. Publicity posters are being printed and distributed, and locations where the vitamins will be administered are being finalized, such as village schools.
We look forward to sharing with you more developments as these projects reach more families and register more children in the vitamin A program. The director of SevaChild, Rick Carlton, will be arriving in India in just a few weeks and he will send photos, videos, and testimonials from families benefiting from this program that we look forward to sharing with you in future reports. The photos we are including here are from past projects but give you an idea of what this preliminary work looks like.
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