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Country: Malawi

Project Name: National Micronutrient Survey, Malawi

Objective/Purposes:

The overall objective of the survey is to determine the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc) and anemia among pre-school and school-age children, women of child-bearing age, and men.  The survey will also assess micronutrient supplementation and fortification coverage.

  • Assess the population micronutrient status, with specific focus on vitamin A
  • Assess the impact of the national vitamin A fortification program
  • Provide technical assistance to the development and implementation of the survey

Background:

Micronutrient malnutrition and chronic malnutrition (stunting) are major public health problems in Malawi.  Because of this, the Government of Malawi and partners have implemented a range of interventions to combat micronutrient malnutrition. These interventions include targeted micronutrient supplementation, nutrition education, and food fortification of staple foods – namely sugar and oil with vitamin A. Information on recent trends in micronutrient deficiencies among vulnerable populations in the country is lacking, thus the decision to conduct a micronutrient survey. The new findings will assess progress, evaluate existing programs, and provide a basis for policy direction and planning.

Potential Impact:

This survey will help assess the impact of the current micronutrient intervention programs, especially the national vitamin A fortification program, as well as the current micronutrient status of vulnerable populations.  Additionally, this is the first national micronutrient survey to be conducted using electronic data collection, which will serve as a model for other countries who wish to use new and emerging technologies.

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