Status Of Nutrition Surveillance Activities In 24 State And Metropolitan Health Departments
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Status Of Nutrition Surveillance Activities In 24 State And Metropolitan Health Departments

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      A study was undertaken to examine nutrition surveillance activities and their usefulness in managing programs of nutrition intervention. Questionnaires were returned by 24 of 26 directors of nutrition units in State or metropolitan health departments participating in 1981 in the coordinated nutrition surveillance system of the Centers for Disease Control, which monitors high risk pediatric patients and pregnant women. The mean years of experience in surveillance activities among the agencies was 4. Only 25 percent of the responding departments reported a self-sufficient computerized surveillance system. Personnel most involved in the coordinating, analyzing, and interpreting of the data were nutritionists who spent an average of 17 hours per month. Major uses of surveillance data reported for purposes of the nutrition programs were to (a) identify collection sites with problems such as errors in measuring heights and weights and hematocrits warranting checks for quality control, (b) define the extent of nutrition-related disorders in the target populations, (c) provide objective local data to assist in decision-making and program planning, (d) enhance follow-up of specific clients, and (e) provide feedback to clinic staffs about the quality and relative impact of their services. The survey results yielded evidence that nutrition surveillance activities have important consequences for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs of nutritional intervention.
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