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UPDATED: 08:01, June 14, 2006
Canada promises aid to help combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe
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The Canadian International Development Agency will inject 900,000 U.S. dollars to support efforts to combat malnutrition and blindness in Zimbabwe, a diplomat said on Tuesday.

Canada's Ambassador to Zimbabwe Roxanne Dub made the announcement at the launching ceremony of the Zimbabwean government's immunization program for children under five years old.

"For some time now, Canada has played a leading role in mitigating the effects of malnutrition in the region. We are encouraged that some two million children in Zimbabwe will benefit directly, preventing an estimated 4,900 deaths. For as little as one U.S. dollar per person, a twice-yearly distribution of high- dose vitamin-A capsules will prevent blindness and improve these children's chances of survival," she said.

The Canadian embassy said in a statement the initiative, which is being implemented by Hellen Keller International, in collaboration with UNICEF and WHO, aims to reduce mortality in children under the age of five through promoting sustained, high- coverage Vitamin A supplementation combined with other child survival health interventions.

In Zimbabwe, 28 percent of children below the age of five are reportedly Vitamin A deficient (VAD) and annual deaths attributable to VAD have been estimated at 4,900.

Source: Xinhua

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