|Nutrition Guidelines (MSF, 1995, 191 p.)|
|Part II: Rapid Nutrition Surveys|
· Among displaced populations or refugees, evaluation of the nutritional status is essential in planning a relief programme. The measure of the prevalence of malnutrition, through a quick cross-sectional anthropometric survey gives valuable information when making decisions. The results of such a survey often have vital consequences for the community. That is the reason why these results must be reliable.
· The reliability of the results is related to compliance with the protocol. Each step is essential.
· The objectives should be clearly defined from the start, as should the plan of analysis.
· The sample should be representative of the population from which it was drawn. Systematic sampling when possible gives the same precision with half the sample size required for cluster sampling.
· Measures should be reliable. Training of data collectors and assessment of their performance through standardization tests is a corner stone of the survey.
· The report should include a summary mentioning the main findings and the recommendations made. Confidence intervals should be indicated whenever a proportion is given.
· The realization of a survey in the field is an excellent occasion for health workers to appreciate the living conditions of the population. On top of the actual proportion of malnourished children given by the survey, valuable additional information maybe observed. This additional information will be of great help in appreciating a situation.