Thanks to Vitamin A, Kaveri Sees a Brighter Future

By Baker Johnson

Seven-month-old Kaveri’s parents became increasingly concerned when they noticed that the transparent part of her eyes – the corneas – were becoming white. They took her to several eye doctors in Kurnool, their hometown in Andhra Pradesh, but no one was able to help them with a diagnosis.

After two weeks of visiting local doctors, feeling helpless, Kaveri’s parents decided to make the journey to Hyderabad and visit the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI).

Dr R Murlidhar, a consultant pediatric cornea specialist, noticed that Kaveri’s corneas were completely dry, lusterless, filled with keratin plaque, and were on the verge of perforation. Keratomalacia is an eye disorder that results from vitamin A deficiency. The delay in diagnosis could have permanently damaged her corneas or even led to her death.

Once keratomalacia was diagnosed, Kaveri was treated with high-dose vitamin A. Within a few hours of receiving her first dose of Vitamin A (100,000 IU) Kaveri’s eyes turned transparent again. A week, and two more doses of Vitamin A (100,00 IU) later, Kaveri’s eyesight was restored.

Dr Murlidhar says, “Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common conditions in the developing world. It can present itself even in children who might otherwise appear healthy. This was the case with Kaveri. The capsules donated by Vitamin Angels are cost-effective and can have a phenomenal effect. Childhood blindness can be prevented when children receive all nine doses of vitamin A up to five years of age.”

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