Nutrition

Parallel Symposium: strengthening micronutrient nutrition surveillance

WHO and CDC tools and methods

In collaboration with the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control Programme (IMMPaCt) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition 2013
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Room B, 11.30 - 13.30 T5 - 5.4 PS4-53
Granada Congress Centre, Granada, Spain

Scope and purpose

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common nutritional problems worldwide. Insufficiencies of iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate and zinc have been associated with an increased burden of disease and disability, particularly among infants and women of reproductive age, including pregnant women. Public health programmes should have continuous and systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of nutrition-related data. This information is necessary for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of public health interventions aimed at preventing and controlling micronutrient malnutrition in these populations.

Adequate surveillance is also needed to inform policy and for tracking progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the global targets approved as part of the comprehensive implementation plan for maternal, infant and young child nutrition recently approved by the World Health Assembly.

The Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization, and the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control Program (IMMPaCt), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have focused some of their joint efforts on the development and improvement of tools and methods for strengthening micronutrient nutrition surveillance within and across countries.

The overall objective of this symposium is to disseminate these new resources. Speakers will briefly present on the specific objectives of the symposium, each of which describes a new surveillance tool or method, and then have time for questions and discussion from the audience.

The first presentation will provide a brief introduction to the WHO Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS) sections: 1) micronutrients database, 2) indicators, 3) laboratory capacity, 4) monitoring and evaluation, and 5) publications. The new VMNIS website is available in all six WHO official languages. The second presentation will introduce the attendees to the Survey Toolkit for Nutritional Assessment, which provides a set of resources collected from many sources to support the implementation of micronutrient surveys, as well as the 2nd edition of a Manual for Cross Sectional Micronutrient Surveys.

The third presentation will serve to launch the WHO/CDC Indicator Catalogue for monitoring and evaluation of micronutrient interventions, a comprehensive web-based compendium of process and impact indicators to measure the performance of micronutrient interventions in public health programmes. The last presentation will describe how the implementation of continuous household surveys can help countries to produce high quality, low cost and timely micronutrient surveillance data.

The objective of this symposium are to:

  • Describe the update and expansion of the WHO Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS).
  • Present new tools to support the development and implementation of high quality micronutrient surveys.
  • Launch the web-based WHO/CDC Indicator Catalogue for monitoring and evaluation of micronutrient interventions.
  • Describe the experiences of implementing continuous household surveys in resource constrained settings to generate high quality, low cost and timely micronutrient surveillance data.
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