National Family Health Survey

National Family Health SurveyNational Family Health Survey

A project by the National Institute for Health Research on the health status of Iranians is currently underway, said Dr. Roya Khabiri, a member on the board of directors at the institute.

“The multi-round survey seeks to evaluate people’s health profile as the next step in the Health Reform Plan,” IRNA quoted her as saying.

The Multiple Indicator Demographic and Health Survey will focus on three indices: nutrition, general health and fertility patterns among Iranians. The survey has commenced in several provinces and will cover 35,000 households with questions related to the three indices.

The project is in cooperation with the Office of the Health Deputy at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and the Statistical Center of Iran.

National family health surveys worldwide provide information on fertility, infant and child mortality, family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition, anemia, utilization and quality of health and family planning services.

The survey has two specific goals: to provide essential data on health and family welfare for the Health Ministry and other agencies for policymaking and provide information on important emerging health and family welfare issues.

The data is collected through personal interviews for which four independent questionnaires for households, women, kids under the age of five, and men have been devised.

“A woman graduate in medical sciences will accompany the interviewer for the questionnaires on women and kids,” Khabiri noted. “Children under five years old will be referred to medical services to be measured for height and weight.”

She said all interviewers would carry ID cards and respondents should not give information to those not carrying IDs.

UNICEF has expressed interest to provide technical guidance for the project, Khabiri said, adding that the results will be made available to UNICEF researchers.

The National Institute for Health Research is the only center in Iran that monitors health status and promotes use of scientific evidence by policymakers at the national level.  It promotes cooperation between relevant institutions through networking between researchers and policymakers and issues research and analytical reports on health systems.

The results of the survey will be instrumental in tracking vital health indices, access to health care, and progress towards achieving national objectives.