Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) constituted about 10% of total admissions to the Academy Charity Teaching Hospital (ACTH) during the period between December 2004 and December 2005. Xerophthalmia was found more often in children with malnutrition or after measles infection, and in children from displaced families, among nomads and in orphans. During the above period a total number of 1,420 children under five years were admitted to the nutrition ward of ACTH, 13 of whom had different degrees of xerophthalmia. Two children developed keratomalacia, which in one was bilateral and left the child totally blind. The second child lost one eye, which had ruptured at home before admission. All children admitted were given 2 doses of vitamin A in dosages recommended by the WHO. This was adopted as a routine on the PEM ward. We thank SIGHT AND LIFE for providing the vitamin A capsules. The initial vitamin A level in Sudanese children showed wide variation, but the important fact was that about 42% of them were below 40 μg/100ml, and 20% were well below 20 μg/100ml. This is a level which predisposes children to xerophthalmia and blindness. 10 days after vitamin A supplementation all children showed a significant rise in serum vitamin A to protective levels of above 40 μg/100ml.
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