NUTRITION CORNER: Night blindness is a symptom of Vitamin A deficiency

Night blindness, a condition characterized by poor vision at dusk or night time, is an early clinical symptom of Vitamin A deficiency. It is found to afflict women during pregnancy, especially during the last three months of the first six months after delivery among breastfeeding women. This is because of the increased requirements during these vulnerable periods.

the survey suffered from night blindness compared with seven out of 100 women who were pregnant at that time. It was also revealed that cases of night blindness increased as the age of the mother and the number of children increased. The number of cases, however, decreased with the educational attainment of the mother.

Likewise, the study noted the high number of night blindness among laborers and unskilled workers, about 18 out of 100, followed by the housekeepers, 16 out of 100. However, the number of cases was lower among professionals, government officials, corporate managers and those having clerical jobs at 3 out of 100.

To correct maternal night blindness during pregnancy, a new policy has been adopted by the government to provide identified cases with a low dose of Vitamin A 10,000 I.U. supplements twice a week for the entire duration of pregnancy.