Project profile — Improving Methods to Assess Vitamin A Deficiency

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Improving Methods to Assess Vitamin A Deficiency - Overview
Johns Hopkins University
2012-03-22 - 2016-05-30
Country / region • Zambia (50.00%)
• Bangladesh (50.00%)
Sector • Health, General
Medical research (12182) (50.00%)
• Basic Health
Basic nutrition (12240) (50.00%)
Policy marker • Gender equality (not targeted)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (principal objective)
• Youth Issues (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (significant objective)
Description and results


This project with Johns Hopkins University is to complete the last stage of testing for an innovative, field-friendly, cost-effective assessment method to detect vitamin a deficiency (VAD). The impacts of proving the validity of this device will have global implications through the ability to rapidly assess VAD in the field so as to monitor the impact of interventions and to target interventions to those most in need.

Expected results

The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: increased use of the Portable Field Dark Adaptometer (PDFA) in a variety of population settings, including surveys, clinical centres, and monitoring and evaluation programs designed to prevent Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD); the PFDA system is adopted on a national scale to assess population Vitamin A status in Zambia and Bangladesh and implemented by local and national health programs.

Results achieved

Results achieved as of June 2015 include: (1) field testing of the Portable Field Dark Adaptometer (PFDA) performed on 364 Bangladeshi women in the third trimester of pregnancy, and 780 Zambian children aged 4-8 years; (2) the success rate of using the PFDA to assess for vitamin A deficiency rose to 95% from a baseline success rate of 85%, indicating improved use of the technology through adaptive field trials; (3) 90% of pupillary measurements were recorded without missing any of the nine measurements (due to participant compliance and/or flaws in implementation), up from 80% at baseline. This suggests the PFDA has improved its success in conducting complete assessments for vitamin A deficiency, and that most trials were eligible for research purposes; (4) successful clinical results indicating the PFDA is a sensitive and reliable device to capture the known dose-response relationship between light intensity and pupillary reaction; and (5) overall, the PFDA has seen great improvements from baseline, and results suggest the technology will be successful as a field tool to assess those considered to be at risk for night blindness and vitamin A deficiency.



Original budget $0
Planned Disbursement $0
Country Percentages by Sector
Related information

Related information

Improving Methods to Assess Vitamin A Deficiency - Related information
Related links
Partner website — Johns Hopkins University
Global Affairs Canada
MFM Global Issues & Dev.Branch
Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
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