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Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

Cost-Effectiveness of Golden Mustard for Treating Vitamin A Deficiency in India

Cost-Effectiveness of Golden Mustard for Treating Vitamin A Deficiency in India

The Question: Could “golden rice” be a cost-effective intervention against Vitamin A deficiency in India?

What We Found: Given the limitations of health infrastructure in India, golden rice (rice fortified with Vitamin A) could be an important part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce Vitamin A deficiency.  While evidence suggests that supplementation is the most cost-effective means of alleviating the problem, golden mustard has the potential to reach more of the affected population, since mustard oil is a common cooking ingredient in the affected region.  Future research should focus on how a combination of strategies could reduce the burden of Vitamin A deficiency in India.

Why It Matters: Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to impact 130 million children worldwide and can lead to blindness and death.  In India, where the problem is particularly severe, new strategies are needed to reach a broader population of affected children and pregnant and lactating women.