A World Of Good: Global Health In The Eyes Of Zahrahu

The power of A and E.

One thing unites us no matter where we live or how much money we make, and that's a desire to be both happy and healthy.

But in order to take care of ourselves, it's crucial that we eat a balanced diet that contains the vitamins we need — taking into consideration important factors such as our age, background, and the region where we reside when determining which ones to take.

Click on any of the photos above to learn about the unique vitamin needs of boys, girls, women, and men all over the world. Though they may differ, we can each learn how we can work toward our individual and common goal of living happy and healthy lives. 

Meet Zahrahu.

Five-Year-Old Zahrahu lives in Nigeria, and likes to play with her sisters and preschool classmates. Her mother hopes she'll grow up to be a tailor and that, one day, she might become the most well-known designer in Nigeria. 

But like so many other Nigerian children, Zahrahu's health has suffered. Before beginning a regimen of vitamin supplements three months ago, she endured frequent fevers and was sick with malaria twice. But after receiving vitamins A and E, and deworming medication from Vitamin Angels, a non-profit that distributes vitamins and minerals to children and mothers in need, Zahrahu's family is happy to report her health has visibly improved. 

According to UNICEF, 25 percent of Nigerian children are deficient in vitamin A, leading to impaired immune systems, susceptibility to disease, and poor growth.

Vitamin A is important for eye, skin, teeth, and bone health.

Fat-soluble, the vitamin can be found in meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods, but in countries where meat is scarce, supplements are often needed.

A deficiency in vitamin A can cause skin conditions and eye problems, including night blindness.

According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for a child Zahrahu's age is 400 micrograms (mcg).

Vitamin E is another essential fat-soluble nutrient that is often scarce in Nigeria.

Found in a variety of foods like spinach, avocado, eggs, and liver, vitamin E is actually the name given to eight separate antioxidant compounds, though only one — Alpha-tocopherol — is needed by the human body to help regulate heart, eye, skin, and muscle health. It can be easily supplemented in countries where nutrient-rich food supplies aren't always available.

A deficiency in vitamin E can lead to muscle problems, weakened immune systems, and various vision impairments. 

The NIH states the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E is 300 mcg for a girl Zahrahu's age.

Zahrahu is not the only person who needs vitamin E, however. Twenty-nine-year-old Jey from France also needs it. Click on Jey's photo, highlighted in purple, to find out how the two of them are connected by their vitamin need, or explore the rest of the profiles below.

Want to help people around the world get access to vitamins? For every purchase, of vitamins and minerals at Walgreens, they will make a donation to Vitamin Angels.