Hyderabad: The city-based ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in collaboration with multiple research organisations is set to take up a unique, first of its kind national-level participatory initiative, ‘Mapping of Nutrition and Health Status’, which will establish real-time health and nutrition data collection and monitoring system in the country.
The monitoring will be conducted in households across India covering urban, rural and tribal parts. The initiative will assess region-specific practices of food behaviour in terms of frequency and diversity and current prevalent practices of food behaviour.
This initiative, which was launched by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in the presence of Secretary, Department of Health Research and DG, ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava and Director of NIN, Dr Hemalatha R, in New Delhi on Monday, would also develop a mobile-based device for nutrition researchers at the district level across the country.
Through collaboration with other professional organisations such as Nutrition Society of India (NSI), the real-time data collection will be done region-wise simultaneously. Once established, the platform can be used to collect data periodically.
“This innovative endeavour of ICMR-NIN, is the first of its kind and will help in developing food based strategies through inter-ministerial convergences to promote national programmes for ensuring food and nutrition security. Another aspect of this programme includes data generation through crowdsourcing using NIN web-portal as a platform,” said Dr Hemalatha.
The initiative will also be useful in the present scenario that is complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic; and it can be extended for generation of data in the future as well, according to ICMR-NIN.
The real-time data, which will be collected through proformas, will be in seven languages and analysed using Indian food composition data. “The initiative is aimed to build robust data to ensure evidence-based policymaking,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.
Congratulating NIN, Dr Balram Bhargava said, “While rooted in the time-tested practices, ICMR-NIN has always been nurturing creativity and innovation to address the contemporary health and nutrition challenges of the country. The launch of innovative data collection programmes are reflective of NIN and ICMR’s commitment to the cause of nutrition and well-being of our people.”
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