Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS)

Number of countries categorized by public health significance of vitamin A deficiency defined by the prevalence of serum retinol concentrations <0.70 µmol/l 1995-2005a

The current WHO estimates state that, 122 countries are classified as having a moderate to severe public health problem based on biochemical VAD in preschool-age children; while 88 countries are classified as having a problem of moderate to severe public health significance with respect to biochemical VAD in pregnant women.

Public health problemb Preschool-age childrenc Pregnant women
Number of countries Number of countries
None 2 20
Mild 32 48
Moderate 49 57
Severe 73 31

a Excludes 37 countries with a 2005 GDP ≥US$ 15 000.
b The prevalence of serum retinol <0.70 µmol/l as a public health problem in both preschool-age children and pregnant women is categorized as follows: <2%, no public health problem; ≥2 - <10%, mild public health problem; ≥10 - <20%, moderate public health problem; ≥20%, severe public health problem.
c Population groups: Preschool-age children (<5 years); Pregnant women (no age range defined).


WHO. Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995–2005. WHO Global Database on Vitamin A Deficiency. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009.