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Sight & Life

SIGHT AND LIFE is a humanitarian initiative of DSM. This homepage gives information about our aims and activities and it is intended to help in project work for the elimination of vitamin A deficiency and to improve nutrition in developing countries.


About us gives overall information on our mission, on some of the projects as well as of vitamin A. Facts and figures can be found under frequently asked questions (FAQ).


News contains miscellaneous information about our organisation as well as information not fitting to other topics. We will try to update this page continuously.


Information is a collection of all the documents on vitamin A. It contains those issued by SIGHT AND LIFE as well as publications from other sources with the aim facilitating the access, to information in other languages. Documents in French, Spanish, German and in other languages are presented. The SIGHT AND LIFE Newsletter contains various levels of news on projects, scientific results and literature overviews.


Tools are intended to support communication and training. Examples of presentations are given. Slide sets issued by SIGYT AND LIFE can be used to prepare own talks. Various materials are available for project work. A new tool available is the SIGHT AND LIFE vitamin A intake calculator.


In order to avoid downloading large files, a CD with the SIGHT AND LIFE website is available (status October 2004).



SIGHT AND LIFE is dedicated to the prevention and eradication of nutritional blindness and all forms of vitamin A deficiency in developing countries.


SIGHT AND LIFE is a humanitarian initiative of DSM.


It is aim of the Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE to raise awareness of vitamin A deficiency as a public health problem, and it is dedicated to effectively fighting this condition.


The Task Force was founded in 1986 by Roche and has been taken over by DSM in October 2003. It is entirely financed by DSM. We do not engage in any fund-raising activities. This allows maximum flexibility.


Vitamin A

In developing countries 200-300 million children of preschool age are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Every year about 500,000 of them lose their sight. The majority (about 70%) die within one year. It has been shown that improving the vitamin A status of young children in deficient populations leads to a reduction in all-cause mortality of about 23%. Improved vitamin A nutrition would be expected to prevent up to 2.5 million deaths annually among children under 5 years.



SIGHT AND LIFE was set up in 1986 by the healthcare company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd to help in the tight against vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. SIGHT AND LIFE is a non-profit humanitarian programme. In October 2003 SIGHT AND LIFE was taken over by DSM. DSM is active worldwide in life science products, performance materials and industrial chemicals (


Who makes up the Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE ?

The Task Force consisted of one full-time manager and specialists drawn from various Roche departments. Under the new organisation within DSM a suitable structure will be established.


How does SIGHT AND LIFE participate in the fight against vitamin A deficiency ?

SIGHT AND LIFE distributes free vitamin A. It also supports research projects and education and training programmes. The know-how of DSM is made available. SIGHT AND LIFE does not create new organisationals tructures; instead, it concentrates on cooperating with organisations that are managing local projects.


SIGHT AND LIFE is distributing vitamin A capsules in poor regions. Isn’t there a danger that recipients will become dependent on this supply ?


The involvement of SIGHT AND LIFE is never limited to vitamin A donations. A vitamin A deficiency prevention programme always includes information about healthy nutrition and the importance of eating foods rich in vitamin A. These campaigns are all aimed at implementing solutions that are sustainable without vitamin A capsules.




PO Box 2 II 6. CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland


Physical address for courier, parcels or other mailings:

DSM Nutritional Products


BuiSding241/171. Wurmisweg 576,

CH-4303, Kaiseraugsl, Switzerland

Tel : ++41-61-688 74 94, Fax : 4-4-41-61-688 19 10

E-mail: sight. [email protected]



The Task Force SIGHT AND UFE is a humanitarian initiative by DSM. ( )