Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in India (which is being gradually lifted), SevaChild has paused its vitamin A distribution campaigns. We've temporarily shifted our focus to providing meals and rations to poor families in slums who have not been able to go out to work or purchase food because of the pandemic and lockdown.
When the lockdown is lifted and conditions are safer for our staff and volunteers, we will return to providing vitamin A doses for children under the age of five in India.
We appreciate your donations, and your understanding during this challenging time in our world.
As we stated in our last report, the first 5,000 children in Uttarakhand state received their vitamin A micronutrients in October of last year. We're happy to report that another 5,000 children have received their first doses of vitamin A micronutrients in 2020. We're thrilled that our goal of reaching 10,000 children in Uttarakhand has been met -- and it would not have been possible without your financial gifts.
We have shifted our focus and resources to developing our administration network in Uttarakhand at this time due to growing government enthusiasm and support for our work there. We look forward to bringing you the latest developments in our next report.
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.
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