Nutrition International and SickKids research team to develop new data collection tools to identify threats to health and nutrition in emergencies – Global

Ottawa, CANADA – Nutrition International and the Center for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), with support from the Government of Canada, are developing a set of new tools and strategies that will identify gaps in health and nutrition inform and support governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to respond to and plan for emerging health and nutrition threats during emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Good decisions start with good data. By supporting the work of Canada’s leading health researchers and nutrition experts, we see how we can close the gaps to build more resilient health systems around the world,” said the Honorable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific. Economic Development Agency of Canada. “As Canada is a world-renowned health and nutrition champion, we will always be here to leverage resources to build a healthier and stronger world. »

In LMICs, COVID-19 has disrupted public health surveys and data collection, exacerbating existing challenges in tracking health indicators. This information is used to allocate resources and deliver essential health services, and for policy makers to plan for and respond to a crisis.

“Nutrition is fundamental to good health and a strong immune system,” said Joel Spicer, president and CEO of Nutrition International. “When disruptions like COVID-19 occur, governments need to know who is most at risk and how to best target their resources to achieve results. Without good data, they are blind to radar and not having the right information at the right time can make a difficult situation worse. We want to ensure that when governments face emergencies in the future, they will be better able to ensure the health of their people, especially those most affected by malnutrition.

As part of a research project, Nutrition International and the SickKids Center for Global Child Health will work to develop a set of analytical tools and methods, using existing data from multiple sources, to identify emerging risks to maternal and child health and nutrition, including disruptions in access to health care, nutrition services, coverage of interventions and care-seeking behavior. The goal of the project is to provide governments and organizations with new ways to quickly identify critical disruptions to health and nutrition services and respond accordingly, through more targeted and effective resource allocation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for alternative methodologies to monitor population health in LMICs even more pressing,” said Dr. Diego Bassani, Director of the International Program Evaluation Unit, Center for Global Child Health and Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences at SickKids. “Data collection tools that can be implemented quickly and can generate reliable data more frequently and at lower cost than traditional probability sample surveys could be a game-changer in population health and nutrition for PRITI.”

Effective analytical tools and methods developed through this project will be made available to governments, health authorities and civil society organizations to inform data-driven policies and public health interventions in emergency situations. emergency and remote. These new tools could also provide a less expensive alternative for rapid health monitoring in non-emergency situations.

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