Program Name: National Micronutrient Survey
In Iraq, no nationally representative data are available that can be used to plan micronutrient interventions or assess the impact of already established nutrition programs. Various programs have been introduced, such as wheat flour fortification, but there are no data to evaluate the impact of these programs on micronutrient deficiencies.
Before 1990 malnutrition was virtually not seen, however the 1991 and 2003 wars have resulted in the deterioration of health conditions. There are no national-level micronutrient data available in Iraq, though primary health care centers have reported a high prevalence of anemia. Stunting and wasting are prevalent, and neural tube defects have been documented. A fortification program was introduced in 2006, and flour is now fortified with iron and folic acid. The goal of the survey is to assess the overall micronutrient status of various population groups and to evaluate current interventions to improve micronutrient status in Iraq.
The objectives are to obtain data to estimate:
- The prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency in children 6-59 months of age and non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age.
- The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in children 12-59 months of age and non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age.
- The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age.
- The prevalence of stunting, underweight, wasting, and overweight in children 6-59 months.
- The prevalence of folate deficiency in non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age.
- The urinary iodine levels among non-pregnant women 15-49 years of age and school-aged children (6 to 12 years of age).
Results of the micronutrient survey will be used by the MoH, WHO, UNICEF, and the WFP to inform nutrition interventions throughout Iraq.