New electronic survey manual supports countries to combat micronutrient deficiencies


A new Micronutrient survey manual (2020) and toolkit, developed in collaboration by WHO, CDC, UNICEF and Nutrition International were published today to meet the demand of countries interested in assessing the micronutrient status of their populations.

Addressing micronutrient malnutrition is one of the greatest global health challenges. Surveys assessing micronutrient status provide a basis for policy makers and programme implementers to understand the magnitude of micronutrient deficiencies and to gather the evidence needed to improve programming. Guidance on how to evaluate the impact of interventions to improve micronutrient status is also included in the manual.

This user-friendly resource enables programme managers, government officials and researchers alike to access the entire knowledge library of best practices and resources for conducting micronutrient surveys through an interactive website.

Certain population groups, especially women and children, are at greater risk of micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrients are critical for a well-functioning immune system, which is of utmost importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. If a population has poor status for key micronutrients, such as vitamin A, zinc or vitamin D, then they may be less well equipped to mount a proper immune response when exposed to viral or bacterial infections than if they had adequate micronutrient status.

The manual emphasizes the use of indicators recommended by WHO and other internationally recognized agencies for assessing vitamin and mineral status, for classifying deficiencies at the individual and population levels, for defining public health problems and for monitoring progress toward preventing and eliminating micronutrient deficiencies.

There is also a downloadable platform that functions like the website such that resources can be accessible to users offline. The content includes 16 modules of information and more than 200 tools, examples and resources in a searchable platform.

The manual and website are an update of the 2007 publication, Indicators and methods for cross-sectional surveys of vitamin and mineral status of populations and its associated online survey toolkit.

Link to publication: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240012691 



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