To obtain cross-sectional data on clinical and nutritional vitamin A deficiency from which to design appropriate intervention strategies.
A population-based survey using multistage, cluster sampling.
Extreme North Province of Cameroon, West Africa.
Children aged 0 to 5 years.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Clinical signs of active xerophthalmia and dietary vitamin A intake.
Of 5352 children examined, signs of active xerophthalmia were noted in 0.62%. Bitot's spots, corneal xerosis, and corneal ulceration were noted in 0.47%, 0.06%, and 0.12% of the subjects, respectively. Children with xerophthalmia had lower vitamin A intake scores when compared with age-matched controls and with a 20% systematic subsample of children.
Xerophthalmia is a major public health problem in this region.