The Nutrition Survey Toolkit was developed and launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) team in 2012. The toolkit contains critical information needed to plan and implement nutrition surveys. Although the current version includes many useful tools to implement the correct procedures and techniques for specimen collection, field testing, specimen processing, storage, and shipment in international field settings, it lacks a generic laboratory and field testing manual.
Building on the current toolkit, we developed a laboratory and field testing manual for nutrition surveys. We combined eight new tools with seven current tools in order to develop a generic laboratory and field testing manual that would be useful for international micronutrient surveys.
We found that the current tools in the survey toolkit were adequate individually but grouping these tools into a manual seemed to be more useful for training purposes. This generic manual is more comprehensive and includes additional tools for proper labeling, cold chain logistics, field forms and checklists among others.
By developing and implementing this generic manual into the training for many of our nutrition surveys, we have found that the laboratory personnel become more active in the training process. This generic manual has become an integral part of our trainings, but most importantly, it provides an essential reference document while in the field. Countries can adapt the generic laboratory and field testing manual to make it specific to their survey.