Nutrition

Call for Public Comments, Scientific Data, and Information

Comment period: 13 August 2010 to 3 September 2010


Indicators for the Assessment of Vitamin A and Iron Status in Populations in preparation of the WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Subgroup meeting

Purpose of the Call for Public Comment

The purpose of this call for public comments, scientific data and information is to provide the opportunity for a wide group of scientists, professionals and other interested parties to contribute to the ongoing work of WHO in the development of nutrition guidelines.

The draft tables prepared by WHO Micronutrients Unit in the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) summarize indicators of vitamin A and iron status that may be further evaluated during a meeting of the WHO Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Subgroup on Guidelines for the Assessment of Vitamin A and Iron Status in Populations.

The following proposed purposes for which indicators of vitamin A and iron status are being used and recommendations are needed are:

  • Assessment of the population's vitamin A and iron status as part of the nutritional surveillance system
  • Monitoring and evaluation of intervention programmes
    • Supplementation programmes
    • Fortification programmes

With respect to the settings, the following areas need to be prioritized:

  • Relevant population groups in which separate recommendations on vitamin A and iron indicators are needed.
  • Specific vitamin A and iron indicators that are valid in the assessment of population status and in monitoring and evaluation programmes.
  • Important health outcomes, beneficial or detrimental, to determine the value of the indicator and for evaluation of changes in nutritional status. These outcomes will influence the decision about recommending an indicator or not.
  • Suitable analytical methods for each indicator.
  • Test features of methods used to measure each indicator
    • Acceptability
    • Feasibility of conducting in the field
    • Costs
  • Cut-off values for each indicator, and possibly for each population group, for defining deficiency.
  • Prevalence of clinical and subclinical vitamin A deficiency and of iron deficiency and anaemia to characterized as a public health problem of concern.

NHD is now inviting all interested parties to submit comments (modifications/additions/deletions) on the content of these tables with respect to the above areas. Additionally, any data on these indicators that would be useful for evaluating their use in determining the status of a population or in monitoring or evaluating nutrition intervention programmes is appreciated.

We request that any comments on these tables are provided using track change mode in MS Word.

Please submit your comments in writing to either of the following addresses, not later than 3 September 2010

Micronutrients Unit
Department of Nutrition for Health and Development
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
Geneva 27 CH-1211
Switzerland
E-mail: micronutrients@who.int

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