India is increasingly facing dual burden of malnutrition; however, no nationally representative data on the micronutrient status and over-nutrition exists. This presentation reviews steps taken by UNICEF and other partners to enable the first-ever national nutrition survey to document the extent and severity of micronutrient deficiencies, over-nutrition, and nutritional risk factors for non-communicable diseases among children and adolescents in India.
More than a year of persistent, evidence-based advocacy and influencing was conducted towards relevant key ministries, policy makers, academicians, and technical experts for effective mobilization of political leadership and ownership of the survey. A multidisciplinary technical advisory committee was constituted under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to guide and build consensus on the survey design and methodology. UNICEF convened and coordinated new and existing partnerships with a wide range of national and international agencies, public and private sectors, research institutions and laboratories to support major components of survey implementation. Substantial efforts were made to build the capacity of survey data collectors using new information, technologies and approaches, as well as to institute a stringent quality control mechanism. The necessary funds were raised to support the initiative.
The MoHFW, in partnership with UNICEF, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nutritional status of >115,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 years in all 30 states of India starting from March 2016.
The survey will generate state-of-the-art national data on various nutritional indicators and provide credible evidence for advocacy, policy development and programme design.