Organization Calls Upon Corporations Nationwide to Give the Gift of Sight
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 17, 2006 ‹ Vitamin Angel Alliance, a non-profit organization designed to fight malnutrition and childhood blindness around the world, today announced its goal to stop childhood blindness resulting from vitamin A deficiency across the globe by the year 2020.
"This is an extremely attainable goal that will provide children around the world with the basic nutrients to keep their vision intact and a better chance to live a healthy, productive life," stated Howard B. Schiffer, founder and president, Vitamin Angels. "Our secondary goal is to have every company within the natural products and pharmaceutical industries join Vitamin Angels by making a monetary or product donation that will provide a child with the supplementation needed to fight malnutrition-linked diseases and other preventable illnesses."
Vitamin A is critical for vision, bone growth and normal bodily development, and plays an active role in a child's immune system. Today, half of the children who go blind from vitamin A deficiency die each year from opportunistic infections and otherwise non-life-threatening illnesses.
Vitamin Angels global initiative will focus specifically on providing basic vitamin A nutritional supplements to the tens of millions of children living in extreme poverty that are at risk of going blind or dying due to vitamin A deficiency, specifically. The World Health Organization (WHO), in conjunction with other leading organizations including Helen Keller International and UNICEF, is also operating a worldwide initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness that is focused on providing ongoing eye care education, developing adequate eye care facilities and preventing blindness causing diseases. Vitamin Angels will conduct its own outreach efforts, however, the organization will also work in conjunction with WHO's program on specific initiatives.
The one-time cost to prevent a single child from going blind due to vitamin A deficiency is $1. This covers the cost of high dose vitamin A and anti-parasitic supplements each year from the ages of 2 to 6, the time when a child is most vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency. In 2006, Vitamin Angels hopes to raise $12 million in monetary and supplement donations to fund their global childhood blindness prevention campaign. Vitamin Angels will also continue to provide supplements to adults and children who are victims of natural disasters, civil strife and war. Nutritional supplements in need include: children's and adult multivitamins, vitamin A, prenatal formulas, folic acid and vitamin C.
Vitamin Angel Alliance is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization dedicated to providing basic nutrition and fighting vitamin A deficiency childhood blindness around the world since 1994. Last year, Vitamin Angels donated more than 100 million supplements to people in need in 40 countries around the world. For more information or to make a donation to Vitamin Angel Alliance visit www.VitaminAngels.org.
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