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In the 1970s, researchers in Indonesia tracked 4,000 children over 18 months to find out more about the effects of vitamin A deficiency.

The lack of this particular vitamin has long been known to be the major cause of blindness among the world's children.

But unlooked-for and unseen amid the mass of data from Indonesia was a much more dramatic message.

As it begins to be acted on worldwide, that message promises to be one of this century's greatest specific breakthroughs for child health.