Health Desk – 05 Mar, 2021: This WHO Medical Product Alert refers to two falsified VITAMIN A (retinol) capsules identified in Chad and reported to WHO in November 2020. Laboratory analysis of recovered samples identified that both products are severely degraded and underdosed – containing less than the stated active ingredient.
Both falsified products also carry now-defunct logos – the outdated WHO Essential Drugs Programme logo and the outdated Micronutrient Initiative logo. Both falsified products were supplied at patient level and may still be in circulation in the region.
Vitamin A (retinol) is a micronutrient used for the prevention and treatment of vitamin A deficiency. The most severe effects of this deficiency are seen in young children. Deficiency of vitamin A is associated with significant morbidity and mortality from common childhood infections and is the world’s leading preventable cause of childhood blindness. Vitamin A deficiency also contributes to maternal mortality and other poor outcomes of pregnancy and lactation. Retinol is listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children.