National Statistical Office of Malawi

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2015-16 Malawi Micronutrient Survey (2015-16 MNS)

This Key Indicators Report summarises major findings of the 2015-16 Malawi Micronutrient Survey (2015-16 MNS) conducted between December 2015 and February 2016, jointly as part of the 2015-16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (2015-16 MDHS). The National Statistical Office (NSO) implemented the 2015-16 MDHS at the request of the Ministry of Health. Through the DHS Program, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded program, ICF International provided technical assistance in designing and implementing the 2015-16 MDHS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Emory University, in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA) and the Community Health Sciences Unit (CHSU), provided technical assistance for designing and implementing the micronutrient component. Financial support for the 2015- 16 MDHS and MNS was provided by the government of Malawi, USAID, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Malawi National AIDS Commission (NAC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN WOMEN, Irish Aid, World Bank and Emory Global Health Institute.

The main purpose of the MNS was to provide program managers and policy makers with the data needed to plan, implement, and monitor and evaluate nutrition interventions for Malawi. The MNS determined the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc, vitamin B12, and folate) and anemia among a nationally and regionally-representative sample of preschool children (PSC), school- aged children (SAC), women of reproductive age (WRA), and men. The survey also assessed the coverage of nutrition and nutrition-related interventions (including micronutrient supplementation and food fortification) and evaluated the determinants of anemia (including nutrition, malaria, inflammation, inherited blood disorders, and urinary schistosomiasis).

Data from prior surveys have shown that micronutrient deficiencies are major public health problems in Malawi (MDHS 2000, 2004, and 2010 and national micronutrient surveys in 2001 and 2009). Thus, the government of Malawi and partners have implemented a range of interventions to combat micronutrient malnutrition. These interventions include targeted micronutrient supplementation (e.g., vitamin A supplementation for young children and iron-folic acid supplementation for pregnant women), 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 Malawi is lacking. The MNS findings will assess progress, evaluate existing programs, and provide a basis for policy direction and planning.

This Key Indicators Report is a first report of the key findings from the MNS and is intended for a broad nutrition and non-nutrition audience. A comprehensive MNS report will be published subsequently.

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