|Vitamin A deficiency: Key Resources in its Prevention and Elimination (Micronutient Initiative) (IDRC, 1996)|
|Part two: The solution|
|Useful support materials and organizations|
Many developing countries will need substantial international cooperation and assistance to enable the achievement of the elimination of vitamin A deficiency. Worldwide, there are dozens of organizations whose activities help to create an enabling international environment for the implementation of plans of action, for nutrition. Some of these are described below.
African regional vitamin A information and collection centres
L'Institut du Sahel (INSAH)_Francophone Africa Vitamin A Information Collection and Dissemination Centre. This regional vitamin A information collection and dissemination centre serves francophone African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. Activities are similar to those listed for the Information Centre at TDRC. For information contact: Mr Zoumana Bamba, Project Documentalist, Institut du Sahel, Boulevard de l'Independance, BP 15, Bamako, Mali. Tel: (223) 22.51.11, Fax: (223) 22.23.37.
Organisme de recherches sur l'alimentation et la nutrition africaines (ORANA). ORANA houses the ORANA Information Centre on Child Survival, a regional information centre which responds to the information needs of francophone African countries in three subject categories: diarrheal disease, nutrition, and vitamin A. Participating countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. ORANA's staff gather, catalogue, and disseminate documents from a variety of sources; by mid 1992, 632 documents on vitamin A were in their collection, and six acquisition lists had been prepared and distributed to those on their mailing list. A bibliography was prepared in 1991 which focused on vitamin A documents written by Africans or about vitamin A in Africa, an African supplement to the newsletter "Dialogue on Diarrhoea" is produced, and information requests have been handled. The Information Centre has a mailing list of over 800 readers, and readers are encouraged to request copies of articles or documents which interest them. Contact: A.M. Ndiaye, ORANA, 39, Avenue Pasteur, BP 2089, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: 22-58-92.
Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC). A Vitamin A Information Collection and Dissemination Centre has been established at TFNC to serve anglophone Africa, including Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Major information activities undertaken include the dissemination of key articles to all participants, press releases on the problem of vitamin A deficiency, developing and maintaining a list of all vitamin A projects in the region, and the compilation of relevant workshops and conferences. For information contact: Mr Justin Chisanga, Project Coordinator, Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TFNC), PO Box 71769, Ndola, Zambia. Tel: (260 2) 610961, Fax: (260 2) 612837.
African-based regional centres/associations
African Training and Research Centre for Women. Contact: UN Economic Commission for Africa, Box 3001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Centre d',tudes ,conomiques et sociales de l'Afrique occidentale (CESAO). CESAO aims to promote comprehensive participatory development through primary research and related activities, primarily in the francophone countries of West Africa. Also provides technical training and supports integrated, participatory development projects. BP 305, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). IITA, established in 1960, aims to contribute to sustainable and increasing food production in the humid and subhumid tropics by conducting international agricultural research and outreach activities in partnership with African national agricultural research systems, particularly on maize, cassava, cowpea, plantain, soybean, and yam. For more information write to: IITA, Box 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria. Tel.: 41 32 49, Telex: 31417 TROPIB NG, Cable: TROPFOUND IKEJA. Also, Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa (AFNETA) was founded in November 1988, following a workshop organized by IITA and International Livestock Centre for Africa as a research and development network. The aims are promoting basic and applied research on alley farming, and food-based agroforestry, and testing relevant technology and use of the concept in the diverse environments of tropical Africa among National Agricultural Research Systems. Contact address: c/o IITA at address above. Tel: 234 22 4003 00, Telex: TDS IBA NG 20311 (Box 015) -TROPIB NG 31417.
Institut d'Ophthamologie tropicale de l'Afrique (IOTA). Established in 1952, in Bamako. IOTA addresses problems of blinding diseases in West Africa, carries out studies on ophthalmology, public health, epidemiology, and offers high level surgical expertise and provides training in ophthalmology. It is a WHO collaborating Centre for Prevention in Blindness. Member countries in Africa are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo; in Europe, France. Contact: Serge Resnikoff, Director PO Box 248, Bamako, Mali. Tel: (223) 22 27 22, Fax: (223) 22 51 86.
Asian/Western Pacific-based regional centres/ associations/agencies
Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC). AVRDC assists countries in setting up vitamin A gardens using indigenous foods. A vitamin A home garden has been developed that can supply a family of five with 100% of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A all year round. Garden contributions of vitamin C and iron were also very good, and calcium and protein yields were moderate. Contact address: PO Box 42, Shanhua, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China, 74119. (Source of description: Mamdani and Ross, 1988, see "Supplementation.")
Latin American-based regional centres/associations/agencies
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI). CFNI is a specialized centre of the Pan American Health Organization. The institute is also responsible to an Advisory Committee on Policy that includes representatives of member governments. Technically, it is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee of food and nutrition specialists. The institute's goal is to improve the food and nutrition situation in its member countries through the following activities: service, education, training, information dissemination, coordination, and research. Each activity is carried out in close collaboration with member governments. Educational materials produced by CFNI include posters, booklets, audiotapes, and videotapes on a wide range of nutrition topics. A nutrition quarterly bulletin entitled "CAJANUS" is available free of charge to subscribers in the Caribbean and Latin America; US $6.00 for other developing countries and US $12.00 for developed countries. Contact address: University of the West Indies, PO Box 140, Kingston 7, Jamaica. (Source of description: American Public Health Association.)
Instituto de Nutrici¢n de Centro America y Panama (INCAP). INCAP is a regional institution supported by its donor countries, PAHO/WHO, and other international donors working in the area of food and nutritional sciences. It seeks to promote the practical application of research and strengthen the technical capacity of its members to solve existing food and nutrition problems. Activities at INCAP include training and formal education programs, technical assistance, research, and information services. The INCAP library houses journals, reports, books, and other materials and has access to computerized bibliographic databases including MEDLARS/MEDLINE. The library responds to information requests and provides copies of documents. It also provides technical and material support to libraries and documentation centres in the region. Materials produced include bibliographic packets, annotated bibliographies, distance teaching manuals, and audiovisual materials. "Avances en Alimentaci¢n y Nutrici¢n" is a quarterly publication produced for dissemination of information about recent research and projects related to food and nutrition issues in the INCAP region. Contact address: Centro Regional de Documentaci¢n, Apartado 1188, 01901 Guatemala, Guatemala. Tel: (5022) 723762, Fax: (5022) 736529, Telex: 5696 INCAPGU. (Source of description: American Public Health Association).
Other international/nongovernmental organizations
Academy for Education Development (AED). The AED is an independent, non-profit service organization committed to addressing human development needs through education, communication, and information. Working with governments and international agencies, AED in 1991 provided services in 77 countries, including operation of 30 project field offices in 23 countries. Initiatives focus on basic education, human resource development, and social marketing. Headquarters: AED, Inc., 1255 23rd Street, NW, Washington, DC, USA, 20037. Tel: (202) 862-1900, Fax: (202) 862-1947, Telex: 197601 ACADED WSH.
American Public Health Association (APHA). International Clearinghouse on Infant Feeding and Maternal Nutrition. A centre for information and materials on health and nutrition of women and children, Clearinghouse provides access to information through its documentation centre, disseminates information to practitioners in the field, strengthens the capacity of field-based organizations to produce and disseminate information, and promotes networking among organizations and individuals. A bulletin, Mother and Children is produced three times a year in English, French and Spanish. The feature article in 1994 (issue 13, No. 1) contained an article on "Combatting anaemia in adolescent girls: A report from India," and the most recent issue (1995, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2) is a special edition of Mother and Children for the 4th World Conference on Women. The issue addresses various nutrition and health concerns of women. Contact address: Clearinghouse, APHA, 1015, 15th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20005, USA. Tel: (202) 789-5600, Fax: (202) 789-5661.
Appropriate Health Resources and Technologies Action Group (AHRTAG). Founded in 1977, AHRTAG, supports the goal of health for all by promoting primary health care. AHRTAG provides technical support, training, and resources to organizations in developing countries to enable them to manage their own information services, expand their publishing activities, and improve access to locally relevant materials. African partners include Egypt, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania. AHRTAG has special interests in diarrheal diseases, primary health care management, training, and health education, and publishes and distributes its own newsletters (e.g., Dialogue on Diarrhoea, AIDS Action, and ARI News_all available in English and French.) AHRTAG has compiled an International Breastfeeding Resource Kit that lists organizations involved in promoting breastfeeding, with a section on publications and audiovisual materials. Free to readers in developing countries. Contact: AHGTAG, Three Castles House, 1 London Bridge Street, London, UK, SE1 9SG. Tel: (44 171) 378 1403, Fax: (44 171) 403 6003, Telex: 912881 TXG, E-mail: GEO2:AHRTAG
Helen Keller International (HKI). HKI, a US-based NGO founded in 1915, provides technical assistance to strengthen existing vitamin A activities and expand vitamin A programs. The services provided include the development of educational and training materials and the dissemination of current literature and information on vitamin A. A pamphlet describing low-cost "Selected publications and training materials for vitamin A deficiency control" is available from HKI; includes slide sets, reports, teaching aids, and pamphlets. Contact address: Helen Keller International, 90 Washington Street, New York, NY 10006, USA. Tel: (212) 943-0890, Fax: (212) 943-1220.
International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). IBFAN, PO Box 34308, Nairobi, Kenya; or IBFAN, c/o GIFA, CP 157, 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland; or IBFAN, c/o Action, 3255 Hennepin Avenue South, Suite 230, Minneapolis, MN 55408, USA.
International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Founded in 1970, IDRC, focuses on supporting research to identify long-term, practical solutions to pressing development problems, and on the development of science and technology capacity in developing countries. Priority themes of IDRC include food systems under stress, health and the environment, biodiversity, and information and communication for environment and development. Support is given directly to scientists working in universities, private enterprise, government, and non-profit organizations. IDRC is funded by the Government of Canada and is directed by an international Board of Governors. Head office: IDRC, PO Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1G 3H9. Tel: (613) 236-6163, Fax: (613) 563-0815. Regional Office for West and Central Africa: IDRC, BP 11007, CD Annexe, Dakar, Senegal. Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa: IDRC, PO Box 62084, Nairobi, Kenya. There are also regional offices in Singapore, New Delhi, Cairo, Montevideo, and Johannesburg.
International Eye Foundation. This is a private, voluntary, non-profit international organization dedicated to the prevention and cure of blindness in developing countries. The foundation works in the areas of food technology, nutrition education, food science, food product development, diet and disease prevention, and health promotion. Operations provide training, equipment and medicines, clinical services, operational research, and development of community-based programs in 10 countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Eastern Europe. The organization conducts research and program evaluation, produces audiovisual materials for professionals, maintains a resource library and provides reference services. Annual reports of the foundation are distributed free. Eye care in developing nations is $20.00. Contact: Laire Isaacson, 7801 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Tel: (301) 986-1830, Fax: (301) 986-1876.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) was established to identify and analyze alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting food needs in the world, with particular emphasis on low-income countries and poorer groups within these countries. IFPRI's research is conducted on the complex issues associated with food production, distribution, consumption, and trade. IFPRI pays particular attention to Africa because of the urgent, complex, and long-term nature of problems faced by this region. IFPRI's research in Africa mainly concerns the identification of improved technology policies, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development strategies. In addition to annual reports and various scientific documents, the institute publishes IFPRI Report which is available free of charge from: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036, USA. Tel: (202) 862-5600, Fax: (202) 467-4439, Telex: 440054.
International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG). The purpose of IVACG, which was established in 1975, is to guide international activities aimed at reducing vitamin A deficiency in the world. The group offers consultation and guidance to various operational and donor agencies that are seeking to reduce vitamin A deficiency. IVACG sponsors international meetings of experts in the field. A call for abstracts is distributed before each meeting. IVACG has a publication program that has produced a number of valuable technical resources. Single copies of publications are available free to professionals in developing countries and for US $3.50 to those in other nations. For information about IVACG meetings and publications contact: IVACG Secretariat, c/o The Nutrition Foundation, Incorporated, 1126 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Tel: (202) 659-9024, Fax: (202) 659-3617, Telex: 6814107 NUFOUND, Cable: NUTRITION WASHINGTON DC.
International Women's Tribune Centre (IWTC). The IWTC has produced a number of resource materials on women and technology; many IWTC publications are free to people in the Third World. The Tech and Tools book: A Guide to Technologies Women are Using Worldwide, (1986, 200 pp., order no. R5) has useful appendices which list appropriate technology centres, journals, and catalogues. The Tribune, IWTC's quarterly newsletter reporting on women and development issues, is free to groups in the Third World. For ordering information write: IWTC, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA.
The Manoff Group is a technical assistance organization that has 25 years of experience in social marketing in nutrition and health programs in developing countries. Manoff has specialized in assisting governments, NGOs, and international organizations to develop and implement behaviour-change strategies that include breastfeeding, weaning practices, growth monitoring, and micronutrient malnutrition. Contact: Marcia Griffiths, The Manoff Group, 2001 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA . Tel: (202) 265-7469, Fax: (202) 745-1961.
Micronutrient Initiative (MI) was established in 1992 by CIDA, IDRC, UNDP, UNICEF, and the World Bank as a means of harmonizing global efforts to fight micronutrient deficiencies, especially in vitamin A, iron, and iodine, by the year 2000 in keeping with the goals of the World Summit for Children. MI seeks to speed up worldwide activities toward elimination and control of micronutrient malnutrition by identifying collaboratively and addressing through established capacities critical elements of sustainable global and national strategies for controlling micronutrient malnutrition. Contact address: Micronutrient Initiative Secretariat, c/o IDRC, PO Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Tel: (613) 236- 6163, Fax: (613) 236-9579.
Program Against Micronutrient Malnutrition (PAMM) is an international collaborative effort working toward the elimination of iodine, vitamin A, and iron deficiencies by the year 2000. PAMM assists governments to develop the technical capability and management systems to achieve sustained elimination of micronutrient deficiencies by holding workshops and offering technical support and training in skills needed to implement control measures. Training is an important component of PAMM's program. See section 7.2 on training opportunities, materials, and videos. PAMM also publishes a newsletter. For more information contact: PAMM, Centre for International Health, Emory University, School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Tel: (404) 727-5417 or 727-5416, Fax: (404) 727-4590.
Sight and Life Task Force. The Sight and Life Task Force was founded in 1986 by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd to help combat xerophthalmia among children living in countries where vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem. Since 1986, Sight and Life has provided assistance in the form of materials (e.g., high doses of vitamin A), finances, or services to 93 intervention projects in 41 countries, 38 research projects in 16 countries, and 26 projects in training and education, and has handled 11 requests for technical assistance from 4 countries. Sight and Life also produces an annual report, a newsletter, special bulletins on selected topics, and educational materials such as training manuals, pamphlets, videos, and books, some of which are available in a number of languages. For a listing of these and an order form, contact: Sight and Life Task Force, PO Box 2116, Basel, Switzerland. Fax: (41 61) 688 1910.
Teaching Aids at Low Cost (TALC). This organization is dedicated to increasing access to educational materials on health and nutrition. TALC has an extensive listing of books and slide sets that it can provide at low cost. For example, the following slide sets (including scripts) are available: "Xerophthalmia: the diagnosis and prevention of nutritional blindness"; "Primary eye care"; "Foods of West Africa" (describes the preparation and nutritional value of foods commonly fed to children); and "A community workers' newsletter" that describes how a community health program can produce its own newsletter to help isolated workers. TALC has compiled a listing of 42 free newsletters on various topics that affect health, and also offers two libraries containing a selected range of up-to-date medical information selected by experts. For more detailed information or for order forms, write: TALC, PO Box 49, St Albans, Herts, UK, AL1 4AX. Tel: (727) 53869, Fax: (727) 46852, Telex: 266020 CORALP G. Ref.:TALC .
Multilateral and bilateral organizations
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Founded in 1968, CIDA is a Canadian organization offering financial and technical aid, expert services, equipment, and other forms of assistance to developing countries. Through CIDA, the Canadian government funds projects that support the efforts of developing countries to promote greater social, economic, and political equity. CIDA administers most of Canada's ODA budget and sets priorities based on the Development Assistance Charter. 25% of ODA in Canada will be committed to support efforts to provide "basic human needs" as a means of enhancing Canada's focus on addressing the security of the individual. Nutrition and nutrition in emergencies are among the eight categories of priority needs together with primary health care, basic education, family planning, water and sanitation, shelter, and integrated basic human needs. For more information contact CIDA, 200 Promenade du Portage, Hull, PQ, Canada K1A 0G4. Tel: (819) 997-5456, Fax: (819) 953-5469.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Established October 1945 as a major United Nations agency to deal with the global food and agricultural issues, FAO activities are aimed at raising the levels of nutrition and standards of living of people in the member countries and to secure improvements in the efficiency of production and distribution of all food and agricultural products. In 1984, FAO contributed to the United Nations 10-Year Plan to Control and Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency, Xerophthalmia and Nutritional Blindness to increase production of vitamin A and carotene-rich foods and ensure their increased consumption. Safeguarding Sight is a 4-page pamphlet summarizing FAO actions against vitamin A deficiency. Contact address: Vitamin A Program, Food Policy and Nutrition Division, Viale Terme di Caracalla, Rome, 00100. Tel: 396 5797 3330, Fax: 396 5797 3152.
International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS). INFOODS was established in 1983 under the aegis of the Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development of the United Nations University to promote global collaboration among those concerned with the (nutrient and non-nutrient) composition of foods. The goal of INFOODS is to improve the amount, quality, and availability of food composition data; to develop standards and guidelines for the collection, compilation, and reporting of food component data; and to establish regional organizations that can provide database support and services for the national needs and permit data interchange among different regions of the world. Regional INFOODS associations include OCEANIAFOODS, ASEANFOODS, LATINFOODS, and EUROFOODS. An AFROFOODS initiative, to focus on food composition in Africa through a proposed regional network of food and nutrition organizations, plus two more regional databases are in the late stages of development. A directory of all available food composition tables and databases in the world has been compiled and distributed, and a revised edition is planned. Contact address: Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development, United Nations University, Charles Street Station, PO Box 500, Boston MA 02114-0500, USA. Tel: (617) 227-8747, Fax: (617) 227-9405, Telex: 6503978146 MCI UN. Or, Barbara Burlingame, Crop and Food Research, Palmerstone North Research Centre, Private Bag 11030, Palmerstone North, New Zealand. Tel: (64 6) 351-8300, Fax: (64 6) 351-7050, E-mail:email@example.com.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA supports a number of research programs in the area of human nutrition. All programs involve some aspect of isotope usage or radiation although this component may be relatively small. The main mechanisms of support are coordinated research, technical cooperation including training, and analytical services. Research programs include extensive work on iron, zinc, and iodine including dietary availability and human dietary intake of trace elements. Contact address: Section of Nutritional and Health-Related Environmental Studies, IAEA, PO Box 100, A-1400 Vienna, Austria. Tel: (43 1) 2360 1657, Fax: (43 1) 234564. (Source of description: SCN News No. 9, 1993.)
Opportunities for Micronutrient Interventions (OMNI). Developed and funded by the Office of Health and Nutrition of the US Agency for International Development in Washington, DC, the OMNI project is a comprehensive 5 year (1993-98) effort to control and prevent micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries . Participating countries will be selected based on their micronutrient malnutrition problems, the commitment by local officials (public and private) to micronutrient activities, and their capacity to achieve and sustain a demonstrable impact. For information contact the OMNI Project, c/o John Snow Inc., 1616 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209, USA. Tel: (703) 528-7474, Fax: (703) 528-7480.
PHNLINK is an electronic network service conceived in 1993 by the Human Development Department at the World Bank. The objective is to establish a low-cost, rapid, and effective information sharing mechanism through linking electronically individuals and groups particularly in developing countries. Three electronic services offered by PHNLINK are PHNFLASH, QCARE, and PARTNERS. PHNFLASH is a weekly newsletter and archiving service on population, health, and nutrition issues which is distributed through electronic mail to some 1500 subscribers around the world. This medium has been used by other organizations and groups (such as MI, OMNI, APHA Clearinghouse on Infant Feeding and Maternal Nutrition, and Population Centre of Johns Hopkins University) for sharing their information and news with others. QCARE is a discussion group on health quality assurance and improvement in developing countries. PARTNERS is a Health Network developed jointly by WHO, UNDP, and the World Bank to support the implementation of health reform in developing countries, with more than 234 subscribers in 27 countries. To subscribe send an electronic mail message addressed to Listserv@tome.worldbank.org. In the text body type: subscribe PHNFLASH Your First Name Your Last Name (do not add any additional words to the specified command, and send a separate message for each service).
UN Administrative Committee on Coordination/Sub-Committee on Nutrition (ACC/SCN). A focal point for harmonizing the policies and activities in nutrition of the United Nations system. Almost all UN and bilateral donor agencies concerned, directly or indirectly, with nutrition issues are members of the SCN. The SCN compiles and disseminates information on nutrition, reflecting the shared views of the agencies concerned. It sponsors working groups on intersectoral and sector-specific topics, and has launched 10-year programs to address two major micronutrient deficiencies: vitamin A and iodine. The major activities of SCN are: issuing regular reports on the world nutrition situation; holding symposia and workshops; producing a newsletter called SCN News and state-of-the-art papers to summarize current knowledge on selected topics; and assessing the flows of external resources to address nutrition problems. The Secretariat is hosted by WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. Contact address: ACC/SCN, c/o WHO, Avenue Appia, 20, CH-1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland. Tel: (41 22) 791 0456, Fax: (41 22) 798 8891.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). A specialized agency of the United Nations that aids governments in their efforts to undertake long-range and far-reaching programs benefiting women and children. In general, UNICEF pursues two fundamental goals: to help developing countries meet some of the immediate needs of their young and to help them strengthen their long-range services for children as essential parts of their overall development efforts. UNICEF has been the main advocate for "adjustment with a human face." UNICEF goals and strategies for the 1990s have focused on survival, development, and protection of children. Some of the major goals for the year 2000 include: reducing by a third of the mortality rates for infants and young children and for mothers in childbirth by half; virtually eliminating severe malnutrition and reducing moderate malnutrition by one-half of 1990 levels; eradicating polio; eliminating neonatal tetanus; and immunizing at least 80% of young children against other diseases; reducing child deaths due to diarrhea by 70% and cutting ARI mortality by 25%; eliminating blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency; eliminating IDD and reducing anemia by one third. UNICEF produces various publications and documents: UNICEF Annual Report in English, French, and Spanish; Annual Progress Report of the Executive Director in English, French, Russian, and Spanish; the State of the World's Children Report in Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish; UNICEF Video, Film and Radio Catalogue. In addition, a variety of books, monographs, reports, and serials about women and children in developing countries are produced by UNICEF. Contact address: your national UNICEF office, or UNICEF House, Three United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA. Tel: (212) 326-7000.
UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). UNIFEM's mission is to enable women of the developing world to achieve their objectives for economic and social development, and, by so doing, improve life for women and men alike. UNIFEM directly funds programs and projects that enable women to enhance their economic and civic activities that ensure that the needs of both women and men receive consideration when large-scale assistance is given to developing countries, through involvement in programming and project design, monitoring, and evaluation. In Africa, UNIFEM's recent support has focused on helping to improve the livelihood of some of the continent's poorest women farmers, especially those battling against environmental degradation, and on helping women in small-scale commercial and trading activities. Created in 1976, UNIFEM works in autonomous association with the United Nations Development Programme. For further information on UNIFEM, its work, and its publications contact: Information Officer, UNIFEM, 304 East 45th St, Room 612, New York, NY 10017, USA. Tel: (212) 906-6453, Fax: (212) 906-6705.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Since the 1960s, USAID has played a major role in supporting research and programming to develop a sound scientific foundation for action and implementing mechanisms for international coordination, consensus building, and information sharing. To improve the prospects for child survival in the developing world, USAID has focused efforts on breastfeeding promotion, improved infant and child feeding practices, vitamin A supplementation and other interventions to address major micronutrient deficiencies, as well as supplementary feeding of mothers and children. To fight micronutrient deficiencies, USAID has supported IVACG beginning in 1975; INACG beginning in 1977; Centre for Epidemiology and Preventive Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, the Vital project (1989-94); and the OMNI (Opportunities for Micronutrient Interventions) Project to support long-term country programs, short-term technical assistance, training, and information dissemination. USAID publishes various newsletters and information sheets. Contact address: Office of Health and Nutrition, Bureau for Global Programs, USAID, Washington, DC 20523-1808, USA. Tel: (703) 875-4600, Fax: (703) 875-4686.
Vitamin A Field Support Project (VITAL). The VITAL Project, funded by USAID and managed by the International Science and Technology Institute, ended in mid-1994. For information about ordering publications VITAL has produced, contact the OMNI Project, c/o John Snow Inc., 1616 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1100, Arlington, VA 22209, USA. Tel: (703) 528-7474, Fax: (703) 528-7480.
World Health Organization (WHO) is a major UN agency charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. WHO has developed a host of networks and mechanisms for generating data, applying facts to problems, and recommending solutions that will lead to sustained improvements in health. A "Nutrition publication catalogue" giving information on publications in the area of nutrition is available from WHO. "Let there be sight" is a pamphlet produced by WHO on vitamin A containing useful information in the form of articles, a poster, and a map. Contact address: B. Underwood, Nutrition Unit, Division of Food and Nutrition, WHO. Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. Tel: (41 22) 791 4146, Fax: (41 22) 791 4156. For the Regional Office for Africa contact: Regional Officer, Nutrition, Regional Office for Africa, PO Box 6, Brazzaville, Congo. Tel: 242 83 18 79, 242 83 38 65, Fax: 242 83 18 79. For the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office contact: Regional adviser for nutrition. PO Box 1517, Alexandria, Egypt, 21511. Tel: (20 3) 482 0223/0224, Fax: (20 3) 483 8916.