Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso woman and child

Project—Establishing Micronutrient Surveillance

Objective

To strengthen nutrition surveillance to help guide appropriate interventions.

Background

The Government of Burkina Faso has several policies and programs  to promote optimal nutrition. These include fortifying wheat flour with iron and folic acid, vegetable oil with vitamin A, and salt with iodine. In addition, the government distributes high-dose vitamin A supplements biannually and deworming tablets to children.

Yet data suggest that some groups in Burkina Faso are at high risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Nationally, 47% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 35% of households are food insecure. Further, the country estimates that malnutrition contributes to 35% of deaths among children younger than 5 years.

No systems in the country routinely measure micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) status in any population group. Country stakeholders need data to make informed decisions about current and future nutrition programming. A long-term, sustainable surveillance system could  monitor program performance and impact of existing nutrition interventions. Such a system could demonstrate program successes, identify nutrition problems, and guide appropriate interventions.

CDC’s International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) team has worked with the Government of Burkina Faso to strengthen nutrition surveillance since 2017, in collaboration with  the US Agency for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Activities

CDC has worked in Burkina Faso to better understand data needs, existing data platforms and systems, and how micronutrient surveillance might be integrated into existing data systems. CDC has provided technical assistance to develop the survey protocol and data collection tools and has provided laboratory expertise related to measuring nutritional biomarkers and field cold chain. The Burkina Faso National Micronutrient Survey took place in the first quarter of 2020. The forthcoming results will establish a baseline for:

  • Indicators of micronutrient status.
  • Infant and young child feeding and maternal child health programs.
  • Micronutrient-delivery interventions that focus on food fortification.
  • Select chronic disease indicators.

The survey included children younger than 5 years, adolescent boys and girls, and women of reproductive age.  The survey also gathered data such as household assets, durable goods, and food purchasing habits.  Key indicators of micronutrient status will be representative at the national level, as well as the 2 major urban centers, 47 smaller cities, and rural areas. Additionally, the survey collected data to evaluate factors associated with anemia among children and non-pregnant women of reproductive age.

Potential Impact

Survey results will provide information for the Government of Burkina Faso to enhance its nutrition policies, programs, and existing data collection platforms.

Next Steps

CDC will analyze the data and write reports from the survey. CDC will also support the Division of Nutrition, Ministry of Health in leading technical workshops with key stakeholders to discuss important findings from the survey. Stakeholders include various government agencies, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and others.

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