Health Ministry to commence national micronutrient survey

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Government of The Gambia, through the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW), UNICEF and The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS), will conduct a nationwide Micronutrient Survey from 12th March to 17th April 2018.

The Survey is jointly funded by the Government of The Gambia, UNICEF, FAO, UNFPA, WFP and the World Bank. This survey is a follow up to the on-going Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and will be conducted in all seven (7) Local Government Areas: Banjul, Kanifing, West Coast, LRR, NBR, CRR and URR

The purpose of the survey is to obtain updated and reliable information on the current nutritional status of women 15-49 years and children 6-59 months of age. The results of the survey will be used for evidence-based Planning, policy and Programming for improving the health and nutritional status of the population.

The last national micronutrient survey on Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA), Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) and Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) was conducted in 1999, thus, data on micronutrient status are obsolete and outdated.  Although the prevalence of anemia, under and over nutrition have recently been collected as part of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2013) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2010), these surveys did not include detail assessment of micronutrient status.

Globally, nutrition deficiencies are believed to be among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, a current and thorough investigation of the nutritional status of vulnerable groups is warranted.

The survey teams will move from house to house to hold interviews and collected samples at designated points in the community. Selected participants within the household will be required to provide urine and blood samples and household salt will also be tested for iodine. This will be accompanied with free screening for malaria, anaemia, diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) among the randomly selected participants.

The general public is assured that the processes involved in the survey are safe and information collected will be strictly confidential. The cooperation and participation of the general public is solicited to make the survey a success.