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Sunday, 1 May, 2005

450,000 kids to be given vitamin A in coastal Sri Lanka

The UN children's agency UNICEF said today it has teamed up with Sri Lanka's government to give vitamin A to 450,000 children living in coastal areas hit by the December tsunami. Vitamin A deficiency impairs a child's immune system and increases the severity of childhood diseases, as well as leading to poor eye sight and even blindness. <>

"With the tsunami and subsequent population displacement, people have lost their natural sources of food and are exposed to unclean water sources and inadequate sanitation facilities, all of which could increase the risk of childhood diseases," said Geoffrey Keele, a communication officer at UNICEF. Sri Lanka was the second worst-hit country after Indonesia by the tsunami. It killed more than 31,000 people here and made 900,000 others homeless.

(Source: Associated Press)
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