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Baseline Survey of the Nutrition Education and Mass Communication (NEMC) Project of Helen Keller International (1990)


The baseline survey was undertaken to establish benchmark parameters such as, 


  1. mothers’ awareness of the causes of night blindness and their knowledge on the possible preventive measures, 
  2. food habit patterns, 
  3. exposure to mass media, etc.


Name of the Project: Nationwide Micronutrient Survey-2011


The purpose of the Nationwide Micronutrient Survey was to collect data on Vitamin A, Iron, Folate, B12, Iodine, Zinc and Anemia Status in Bangladesh in order to enable to develop and updated national estimates of the Vitamin A, Iron, Iodine, Anemia and Zink statuses; establish a baseline for the monitoring and evaluation of the national fortification of edible oil program; develop an updated status of national salt iodization coverage; and assess the prevalence of Folate and B12 in a sub population.


The major tasks included: collection of data on the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) of the study population, regarding the consumption patterns and usage of micronutrients (Vitamin A, Iodine and Iron) enrich food and edible oil; food security; KAP of retailers regarding iodized salt and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD); salt samples collection from households and retailers; collection of urine samples for urinary iodine level from target groups; collection of blood samples from target groups for serum retinol, serum ferittin, haemoglobin, AGP, CRP, B12, and serum folate level; analyzing hemoglobin of the target population at the field level using hemocue; preserve and send the samples of blood and urine sample to ICDDR,B by maintaining cold chain.


The survey was designed to collect data, choosing respondents from different target groups in a nationally representative sample of households.


Both the Bangla and English Questionnaires were supplied by ICDDR,B. At first the English Questionnaire was reviewed, modified and formatted according to the much practiced format used by Mitra and Associates which is very much handy/easy for administer at field level and data processing. The Bangla Questionnaire was also reviewed/modified accordingly, considering the English Questionnaires as standard. The questionnaires were finalized incorporating the suggestions made during the Training of Trainer (ToT) and pre-testing at field level. In every aforesaid process, ICDDR, B was consulted.


In collaboration with ICDDR,B, Mitra and Associates successfully carried out a comprehensive training program for the field personnel from September 18, 2011 to October 01, 2011, for 11 days including 9 days for in-house training and 2 days for practicing at field level. The first two days and the sixth day of in-house training were exclusively conducted by ICDDR,B on technical aspects (blood, urine, salt, food consumption and anthropometry) of the survey. The training for the remaining days was provided by Mitra and Associates at a hired premise. At the end of the training, three written tests were administered for selecting interviewers, supervisors, health technician and quality control officers. Before the starting of the training, ICDDR,B provided TOT (Training Of Trainers) for four days at their premise. Six monitors from ICDDR,B and three observers from IPHN also participated in the training program.


The fieldwork was successfully completed from October 4, 2011 to December 21, 2011 without facing any major problems by deploying nine interviewing teams. Each team consists of one supervisor, two interviewers, one health technician and one logistical assistant. For quality control at field level, nine quality control officers were deployed. The fieldwork was also supervised by three senior level officers of Mitra and Associates. In addition to that ICDDR,B also deployed six monitoring officers under the close supervision of Dr. Sabuktagin Rahman for ensuring the quality of fieldwork.


The major tasks were carried out during the fieldwork included: (i) identifying and sketch mapping of the selected cluster (Mouza), and its segmentation; listing of 50 (fifty) households and random selection of 20 out of the 50; conducting household interviews; collection of anthropometric (Height, Weight and MUAC) measurements; collection of salt samples from the household and retailer; and collection of biomarker (blood and urine) samples and transportation/submission of samples to ICDDR,B lab by maintaining cold chain.


The blood sample collection from the respondents was one of the major challenges faced during the fieldwork. The challenges were overcome through rapport building with the blood donor and motivational campaign. All of the clusters assigned for the fieldwork were successfully completed except two clusters from the second phase. The blood donors of those two clusters refused to donate blood. But two substitute clusters were selected against the selected clusters in consultation with ICDDR,B.


Out of 2,096 assigned households 1,994 were successfully completed; 1,136 assigned pre-school children, 1,026 were completed; 1,510 assigned school age children, 1,426 were successfully completed; 1,510 assigned women, 1,411 were successfully completed and 906 assigned salt retailers, 906 were successfully completed. 


Out of 4,260 assigned blood donors for blood samples, 3,670 blood samples were collected; 3,750 samples assigned for retinol, 3,260 samples were collected; 3,150 samples assigned for Ferritin, 2,661 were collected; 1,050 samples assigned B12, 950 were collected; 2,550 samples assigned for Zink, 2,178 were collected; 2,850 samples assigned Urine, 2,552 were collected; 1,650 samples assigned Retailer-salt, 1,604 were collected and 1,800 samples assigned Household-salt, 1,731 were collected. 


Client and Contact Person: 

The project was jointly sponsored by UNICEF and ICDDR. The contract was awarded by UNICEF but administered by ICDDR. Contact persons: (1) Dr. Ireen Akhter Chowdhury, Nutrition Officer, Health and Nutrition Section, UNICEF-BOC, BSL Office Complex, 1 Minto Road, Dhaka 1000. Tel:(880-2) 8852266 ext. 7155, Fax:(880-2) 9335641-2, Email:, . Agreement No: SSAJBANA/2011/00002797-0. Dr. Sabuktagin Rahman, Coordination Manager, Nutrition Programme, ICDDR, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212. Email:


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