Results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released

The results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released.  The  major  findings  indicate  that Belize  has  a  very  low prevalence  of  the  lack  of  Vitamin  A  intake,  while  the  recommended  level  of  Folic  Acid  and Vitamin B12 intake is not satisfactory.  The survey conducted during 2011-2012 was a national representative sample of 1,979 adults and children  from  across  the  country    The  objective  of  the  survey  was  to  assess  the  prevalence  of micronutrient deficiencies specifically Anemia (Iron deficiency), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 among women of reproductive age 15-49 years old and children 6-59 months in Belize. We spoke to Jorge Rosentol, epidemiologist for center for disease control and prevention in Atlanta.

Jorge Rosentol – Epidemiologist:

vlcsnap-2013-08-08-11h52m18s143For example: Vitamin A deficiency is very low across both the groups that we took, the women and the children. The country has been very successful.  However there’s still some small percentage, below 2% of women and 1% of children, who are still deficient.  If you really want to reach elimination of vitamin A defieiency, you need to target those groups.

 

 

The Epidemiologist also says that anemia is also an issue in Belize.

Jorge Rosentol – Epidemiologist:

Anemia is still a wide problem across the nation among children and women.  It’s around 22%.  However there is some good news about that.  Although it’s a public health problem, the measured proportion of cases are due to mild anemia.  Mild anemia has a better chance to be tackled, than moderate or severe anemia. So depending on the type of interventions that the country decides to do based on this information, the country is in a good situation to diminish or reduce the prevalence of that.

According to the ministry of health, there was a recent grant approval from the European Union of over five million dollars toward the improvement of mothers and newborn healthcare to reduce  the  incidence  of  mortality  in  children  less  than  five.  The  Ministry  has  also  engaged stakeholders  in  the  discussion  on  food  fortification.  This was the  first ever national micronutrients deficiency household survey for women and children in Belize.

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